José (Joe) Guadalupe Garcia died Dec. 30, 2008, from complications brought on by temporal lobe epilepsy. He was 81.
Mr. Garcia was born Feb. 11, 1927, in Edith, Colo., to Tobias José Trujillo and Clotilde Trujillo, who died in childbirth. He was raised by his fraternal aunt and uncle, Juanita and José Ignacio Garcia, on their sheep ranch in Lumberton, N.M.
Mr. Garcia enlisted in the army in July 1945 and was stationed in Berlin during the Berlin Airlift. He worked on reconstruction and used his fluency in German to communicate with the German citizens with whom he worked. Although Spanish was his first language, he became fluent in German while attending high school at the St. Francis Seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio.
After his discharge from the service, Mr. Garcia graduated from Harbor Junior College in Long Beach, Calif., and then returned to New Mexico where he worked for the Jicarilla Apache tribe in Dulce. He served as the chairman of the school board for the Dulce Independent School District. He went to work for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1962, and was promoted and relocated with his family to work for various tribes in Arizona, Alaska, California and Oregon. He was hired by Bonneville Power Administration as a realty specialist in 1974 and worked there until his retirement in 1990.
Mr. Garcia married Helen Singer in August 1962. The couple had three daughters and the family moved to West Linn, Ore. in 1969. The Garcias moved to the Seattle area in 1997 to be closer to their daughters, Michele, Denise and Celeste.
Survivors include his wife of 46 years, Helen; daughter and son-in-law Michele Garcia Havard and John Havard; daughter and son-in-law Denise Garcia and Gary Lorentson; daughter and son-in-law Celeste Garcia Ramberg and Sterling Ramberg; and four grandchildren, Elena, William, Camila, and August. He is also survived by his brother Melando Trujillo; half brothers, Fernando and Armando Trujillo; and half sisters, Nea Branson, Maria Bradley, Priscilla Gallegos, Lucilla Hoover, and Rebecca Everage; sister-in law, Frances Belarde; and cousin Lionel Belarde; as well as many other cousins, nieces, and nephews. His brothers Herman and Rossendo Trujillo and his half brothers Perfaño and Carlos Trujillo preceded him in death.
Mr. Garcia’s life will be celebrated on Saturday, Jan. 31 at 11 a.m. at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 121 North 80th St., in Seattle, Wash.
Donations may be made in memory of José G. Garcia to the Southwest Indian Foundation (www.southwestindian.com), St. Francis School in Lumberton, N.M. (www.stfrancislumberton.org) or the Regional Epilepsy Center at Harborview Medical Center, 325 Ninth Ave., Box 359745, Seattle, WA 98104.