JUAN GEORGE GARCIA
1933 - 2019
Juan George Garcia passed away on November 9, 2019, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was born on February 22, 1933 to Juan and Maria Garcia (both deceased) in Alice, Texas. Juan spent 20 years in the U.S. Air Force, retiring in 1972 as a Major. After graduating high school at 16 years of age, Juan spent 2 years at the University of Texas at Austin before enlisting in the Air Force. While serving as a Dental Technician, he was accepted into the Air Force's Aviation Cadet Program. Once he completed KC-97 Navigator training, Juan was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. During his Air Force career, Juan also served as a KC-97 Co-Pilot and KC-135 Pilot and Instructor Pilot. He served four deployments in Vietnam, spending over 1.5 years refueling aircraft during the Vietnam War.
Juan earned a B.S in Math while in the Air Force and later completed the coursework for a PhD. After retiring from the military, Juan spent 25 years in Higher Education Administration, first as a Budget Analyst and then Budget Director at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst for 10 years. He then spent 10 years as the Budget Director at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS), before finishing his second career in 1995 as the Vice President for Administration and Finance for the State Colleges of Colorado. Juan believed in giving back; his last volunteer work included 7 years as a Spanish Interpreter for the Colorado Springs Police Department and 10 years as a member of the Colorado Springs Memorial Hospital Board of Directors, where he led the effort to raise funds to build a new hospital for an under-served population in northern Colorado Springs. He also enjoyed attending Air Force Falcon football games and painting.
Juan was married to Sara (Sally) Suarez Garcia for almost 60 years before her death in May 2016. He is survived by his 5 children, Amanda Garcia (Juan Valadez) of Houston; Linda Garcia Cubero of Colorado Springs; Juan Garcia (Kristen) of Miami; Luis Garcia of London, England; and Mara Garcia (Mark) Smith of Herndon, Virginia; his six grandchildren, Juan Garcia, Jennifer Cubero (Jordan) Hess, Nicholus Garcia, Andres Garcia, and Matthew and Moriah Smith; and his 2 great-grandchildren, Jayden and Jax Hess. He is also survived by his sister, Mary Alice (Juan) Perez, and brother, Gilbert (Nelda) Garcia, as well as several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his sister, Aurora Garcia Trevino in 2013. Juan taught his children the value of an education, ensuring that all 5 graduated with bachelor degrees. He shared his love of learning with his children and grandchildren. He will be missed for his love of family, his wry sense of humor and his zest for life. A Memorial Service will be held at 9 am on Saturday, November 23, 2019, at Memorial Gardens Funeral Home, located at 3825 Airport Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80910. Memorial contributions may be sent to The American Macular Degeneration Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to the prevention, treatment, and cure of age-related macular degeneration.
Published in The Gazette on Nov. 15, 2019.