The Obit For Gonzalo Garcia

Gonzalo M. Garcia
25 May 1931 - 14 September 2010

Published in El Paso Times from October 7 to October 9, 2010

Gonzalo M. Garcia passed away peacefully on Tuesday, September 14, 2010 at his daughter's home in Mexico City. He was 79 years old.

"Chalo," as he was known to many, was born and raised in La Union, New Mexico. Following his marriage to Sofia Guzman (Garcia) in 1950, the couple settled with their family in Canutillo, Texas.

A 1949 graduate of Gadsden High School, Chalo was an avid sports player. He played basketball, football and ran track, but he left his legacy on the sports world through his career in professional minor league baseball with the following teams: Anthony Merchants, El Paso Texans, Juarez Indios, La Mesa Bluejays, and the Yuma Panthers.

In 1988 he was inaugurated into the El Paso Baseball Hall of Fame in recognition of his extraordinary baseball career.

He went on to become the manager of Borderland Farmers Cooperative Association, where he remained until his retirement. In addition to sports and ginning cotton, Chalo was committed to a life of community service and spearheaded various projects, particularly for the benefit of his beloved Canutillo. A tireless advocate for the rights of the poor, he fought for the right to education, healthcare and clean water, and also encouraged citizens to exercise their right to vote.

Strong in his convictions, Chalo did not shy away from a challenge or from a call for help. It is for this reason that he was also known, with both affection and respect, as "The Godfather" of Canutillo.

His contributions to the greater El Paso community are also remarkable. In 2002 he received the Oak of Justice Award by the Peace and Justice Ministry of the Catholic Diocese of El Paso, and the 2008 Senior Citizen of the Year Award by LULAC, in addition to other such recognitions.

As a further testament to Chalo and Sofia's tradition of service, especially Chalo's many years as member and past President of the School Board of the Canutillo Independent School District (CISD), the CISD named its High School baseball field after Chalo in 2007, and in 2008 "Gonzalo and Sofia Garcia Elementary School" opened its doors to students.

Gonzalo M. Garcia is preceded in death by his parents, Pedro Garcia and Luz Madrid Garcia, and his brother Pete Garcia.

He is survived by his children Rachel Garcia Perez, Veronica Garcia Ballard, Judge Gonzalo Garcia, David Guzman Garcia Sr., and Dr. Sandra G. Garcia and Orlando Morales; his sister, Gloria Ramos; his brother Armando Garcia; 16 grandchildren, and 16 great grandchildren.

As per his wishes, Chalo was cremated shortly after his death and his ashes will be interred in Memory Gardens of Santa Teresa alongside his dear wife Sofia.

On Saturday, October 9, 2010, a memorial service will be held from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm at Garcia Elementary School (located at 6550 Westside Drive, El Paso, Texas 79932), followed immediately by a reception.

In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that donations be made to the Gonzalo and Sofia Garcia Elementary School, the "Sofia Guzman Garcia Rose Garden Fund," administered by Garcia Elementary, and/or to the Gonzalo (Chalo) Garcia Baseball Field at Canutillo High School.