Tony Garcia passed away on Monday, October 7, 2019.
Tony is preceded in death by his father Celso Garcia, and brother Robert Garcia.
He is survived by his mother Justita Garcia, brothers; Tom J Garcia, George Garcia, niece Renee Olivas, her husband Mark, thier children; RaeAnn Olivas, Brianna Olivas, and grandson Leon Cordova, nephew Celso Garcia, his children; Celso Garcia Jr., Mirella Garcia, Eusevio Garcia, Robert Garcia, niece Deanna Estrada, her husband Mark, thier children; Mikel-Celso Estrada, and Nya Estrada.
Tony's Life Celebration will begin with a Visitation on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 at 6:00 pm at Our lady of the Most Holy Rosary Catholic Church located at 5415 Fortuna Rd NW, 87105. Rosary will be recited at 7:00 pm. Final Viewing will take place on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 at 8:30 am at Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Catholic Church. Mass will begin at 9:00 am.
Pallbearers will be Celso Garcia, Celso Garcia Jr., Mirella Garcia, Eusevio Garcia, and Robert Garcia, and Mark Estrada.
Please find the eulogy from Tony's brother, Tom, below:
Thank you for coming out to honor Tony tonight. He was my younger brother. And my biggest fan. As a kid, he was always chasing after me. Always wanting to do everything I did. Always bragging about me. He liked everything I did. He even liked my music. My very first album was a Fats Domino album and I remember he played it over and over again until he almost wore it out. And he even liked the ladies I listened to. One time I walked in on him and he was listening to Judy Garland for crying out loud. I couldn’t believe it.
He was a very curious child. If you were out with him somewhere you had to be careful because in the blink of an eye he would be gone. Off exploring or talking to some stranger. Always so inquisitive. Always looking for adventure. We almost lost him one time in San Francisco. People say youth is wasted on the young. Nobody enjoyed their youth more than Tony. He played football in High School, and partied with the best of them. He had a million friends. People gravitated towards him. I have a great shot of him skipping the fence at West Mesa off to play hookie. That was Tony. He and a friend drove to California in his MG convertible with the top down the entire way and camped out on the beach. In later years, he had his struggles, scrapes and distresses, like all of us, but he survived them and came back stronger. He always had his faith.
The one thing you can say about Tony was that he was kind, he was sincere, and he was honest. He was adored. He always had a smile on his face and a wonderful infectous laugh. Always with a joke. A really special guy. Like my Aunt Eugenia said, “we could not have lost a finer person.” He was an artist, he created for pleasure and gave a lot of it away. He was generous.
In 1985 he moved to New York City. And we lived together as roommates for over 20 years. It was the longest relationship he and I ever had with another human person. He worked as a graphic artist in the City. He was even in one of our commercials. A Tony Hillerman book called “Sacret Clowns.” He played Officer Jim Chee, a Navajo policeman. The client loved the casting because with his long hair Tony was a perfect fit as Native American. He stood stoic and in character the entire day. He loved it. When we went to the National Museum of the American Indian people thought he was part of the exhibit. And a few times on the subway people would come up to him and ask if he was native and want to take a picture with him. I would be outraged, but he would just take the picture, smile and think nothing of it. He loved the city. He never missed a Concert in the Park. He loved Broadway and would go with his friend RoseAnn to Shakespeare in the Park. He loved jazz at Lincoln Center. And he was always totally interested in my work and wanted to be involved in every project I worked on. We had a wonderful time throughout those years. The tears and memories have been flowing this week. He knew everybody in our building. He used to grocery shop for 90 year old Rose who lived across the Hall. And she’d even make him go back to the store if he got the wrong thing. But he didn’t mind. And he sometimes would even walk crazy Mr. Jones’s dog. He loved dogs. We had a cat. He helped out everybody in the building. He was so nice. I didn’t know anybody in the building. I introduced him to Fire Island, and we spent many weekends there. He loved the ocean. We lived thru the blackout of 98 and the tragedy of 9/11. He even tried growing chili on the roof of our building. The Super made us get rid of the plants.
We came back to New Mexico in 2008 to help my Brother George care for our Mom who is 97 now. Tony picked up right where he left off. He renewed his friendships with old friends and right away made new acquaintances and lunged back full force into life in Albuquerque. He knew all the neighbors. Who knows all the neighbors. He did. He spent a lot of his time with his art. He built his own studio and filled it with wonderful images. He enjoyed exploring the new Albuquerque, which had changed so much in the years we’d been away. He knew all the right places to go all the best places to eat. And, in his later years, actually became quite a foodie and great cook. He loved preparing east Indian dishes. He explored and became involved in the art and cultural scene of New Mexico.
And in recent years he even got into gardening. He grew great tomatoes. He taught himself. I don’t know what will become of the crops now. Wo is me.
He had a good life. He had no regrets. He suffered a lot at
the end. But he was brave, and held on strong to his faith. He loved and he was loved. And what’s better than that. The heavens are hung in black tonight. I’ll never forget you little Brother. Rest in Peace. There is no end to missing you.
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