Friday, January 23, 2009

George R. Garcia, R.I.P

Funeral services for South Mesilla Valley resident George Garcia were held today at Immaculate Heart of Mary Cathedral, with Bishop Ricardo Ramirez, officiating. Garcia (no relation) died on January 18 at the age of 74, after a long illness.

George Garcia is well remembered by generations old enough to remember as an outstanding baseball player. His Las Cruces High School team became State Champion in baseball and he went on to the farm team for the Washington Senators and later the La Mesa Blue Jays.

He married Mary Helen Apodaca, the daughter of a prominent South Valley family. The Apodaca farm later pioneered the cultivation and processing of Louisiana-style chile peppers, building the largest chile processing plant in the U.S. Mary Helen is currently serving as State Representative of NM District 34 and his nephew, Joseph Cervantes, is State Representative of District 52. George was an active Democrat, serving at the time of his death as a District Director for the county. He is survived by his wife, two daughters, and four grandchildren.

During the three decades that I knew George Garcia I was always impressed by his quick mind, which he often used to make people laugh, by his effortless facilty with election statistics, and his gentle but stately bearing.

Gifts may be made to: NMSU Baseball Stadium Fund in memory of George R. Garcia c/o NMSU Foundation, Inc. PO Box 3590 Las Cruces, NM 88003.

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