Wasilla resident Eloy Eduardo Garcia, Sr. died Sept. 9, 2000, at Wesley Center in Seward. He was 81.
A joint memorial service will be held for Garcia and his wife, Margaret, at 11 a.m. Saturday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Wasilla. Father Stan Allie will conduct the service. A reception will follow at the church hall.
Mr. Garcia was born Oct. 20, 1918, in Mercedes, Texas, the youngest child of Jesus and Maria Garcia. The Garcias were members of a large extended family who were colonists in Texas and Mexico arriving from Spain in the 1600s and 1700s.
Mr. Garcia entered the United States Army Air Corps at 17, serving in the military for 20 years. He was stationed in the Caribbean, Texas, Louisiana, Alaska, Montana, Bermuda, Georgia and Iwo Jima. He retired from the Air Force in 1957.
Mr. Garcia was an electrician most of his working life. His training began in high school, continued through the military and he was a proud member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
He married Margaret Ann Sievers in 1940. They had six children and raised seven. In 1947, Mr. Garcia was assigned to Elmendorf by the Army Air Corp. During this time, he and his wife homesteaded near Wasilla with their four eldest children.
After many military transfers, they returned permanently to Alaska in 1956.
After retiring, Mr. Garcia did a number of jobs including driving school bus, Civil Service electrician at Elmendorf and Fort Richardson, corrections officer for the State of Alaska and finally returning to electrical work with the IBEW.
The couple motor homed to the Lower 48 until 1990 when they resumed living year round in Wasilla. Together they maintained their independence until Mrs. Garcia's death in April.
"He was fun to play cards with. He loved old western movies, visiting with his family, being out on Cook Inlet and treating everyone to dinner. He was always willing to help out his family in any way that he could. That's the kind of man he was. His tool belt was always ready to go. He would show up in his Carhartt overalls and get you started on your project. He was a good grandpa. Many of his grandchildren grew up sitting with him in his recliner eating nuts and watching TV," the family wrote.
Mr. Garcia was a faithful, lifetime Roman Catholic. He was a founding member of Sacred Heart Parish. He and his wife attended the installation of Anchorage's first archbishop, Joseph Ryan. He also was a founding member of Wasilla's Veterans of Foreign Wars post.
Mr. Garcia was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Maggie; brothers, Jesus and Abraham; sisters, Rebecca, Pauline and Maria; and daughter, Maria.
He is survived by children, Jim, Judy, Eloy Jr., Chris, Jesse and Greg; daughters-in-law, Clara and Delora; 13 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren.
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