John A. García (1915-2011)

John A. García (1915-2011)

John A. García passed away on December 19, 2011 due to complications from a stroke incurred in June of this year.
John was born in what’s now South Central Los Angeles on November 7, 1915 to João and Esperanza García, the third of four siblings. As a small boy, being very adventurous, he helped his father with a small commercial fishing business. When he became a teenager, he lived for a short while with his older brother in Yuma, Arizona where he learned to drive at the age of 14 owning his own car. He returned to Los Angeles having attended Jordan High School.
John immediately joined the WPA in the 1930s in the midst of the depression helping clear brush, establish and pave road throughout Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. He also was involved in the construction of many schools also throughout the area. He returned again to Los Angeles working in the mattress manufacturing industry. Then, in 1944, he joined the Merchant Marines enrolling in cooking school in Long Beach before his first assignment refueling naval ships and carriers in the perilous South Pacific. His rose to the rank of Chief Cook as he traveled to Australia, India, Mozambique and Brazil with the Merchant Marine Corps.
Continuing in manufacturing, John held various positions as plant and operations manager with various furniture manufacturers in the greater Los Angeles area. In 1973, he also spent a short stint working in San Antonio, Texas. In 1975, he became plant manager of the old Carter West furniture plant still located on the corner of A Street and Old Telegraph Road in Fillmore.
In Fillmore, he was very involved in the community. He was a member of the Lions Club and the Parent Advisory Council with the Fillmore Unified School District. He also extensively volunteered with the Fillmore Senior Center providing medical appointment transportation and helping organize bingo.
Retiring in 1981, John would walk almost five miles a day and read old National Geographic magazines. Eventually, he could only last with this routine for six months before he returned to working full time again. He worked for Alpenlite in old Ventura and Abel Reels in Camarillo until retiring again in 2003 at the age of 86.
He spent his second stint in retirement extensively in San Diego and Oceanside, CA leading a very active lifestyle until this year. He could often be caught eating a roast beef sandwich while sail boat watching at the Oceanside Harbor, enjoying Chinese buffet in Pacific Beach or drinking his Starbuck’s coffee at the end of Shelter Island Drive in San Diego.
John is survived by his wife Josephine of over 41 year, his sons John, Jr. of Long Beach, Tom of Bellflower, daughter Cynthia of Whittier, Philip of Fillmore, Arnie of San Diego, and Mike and Joe also from Fillmore. He will be missed by all including his many of his grandchildren and great grandchildren.
A rosary and funeral mass is scheduled for Friday, December 23, 2011 at 9:30 at St. Margaret’s Parish, 4300 Oceanside Blvd., Oceanside, CA followed by graveside services at Miramar National Cemetery in San Diego, CA.