1931 - 14 September 2010
in El Paso Times from October 7 to October 9, 2010
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,
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.
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
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.
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.
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.