August 8, 1928 - March 25, 2014|
ODESSA Juan Bautista Garcia, age 85, passed away on March 25, 2014, in Odessa, Texas.
He was born on August 8, 1928, in Victoria, Texas, to Refugio Garcia and Paula Ybarra Garcia. Following his graduation from Cuero High School Juan joined the U.S. Air Force and served his country for seven years, mostly with the Allied Air Forces in central Europe following World War II.
When he left the Air Force he attended the University of Chicago and the American Institute of Banking after which he began his banking career with the First National Bank of Oregon. Juan moved to Odessa in 1960 and immediately went to work for the National Bank of Odessa. He rose to Senior Vice President of NBO until his retirement in 1983. During his banking career Juan served as the District and the State chairman of installment lending for the American Bankers Association.
After leaving banking, Juan embarked on his second career as a legal and courtroom interpreter. Juan was widely considered one of the best legal interpreters in West Texas and was highly sought after by Judges and attorneys.
During his fifty years in Odessa he volunteered for and served as an officer of numerous civic and community organizations, including the Grandview Lions, Lions International, American Red Cross, and the Odessa Chamber of Commerce. He was the chairman of the Chamber's Health and Welfare Committee that established the need for a second hospital in Odessa, leading to the opening of Odessa Womens and Children's Hospital (now Odessa Regional Medical Center). Juan was also instrumental in founding the Pan American Golf Association and was selected as one of the original lifetime members. He was a long-time Elder at Antioch Christian Church in Odessa.
Juan is preceded in death by his parents, by his brothers Ruben Garcia, Ephraim Garcia, and Ananais (Joey) Garcia, and by his sister Esther Conner.
He is survived by his devoted wife of 47 years, Darlene Shafer Garcia, whom he married in Lovington, New Mexico, in 1967. He is also survived by sisters Elizabeth Garcia and Ruth Andrade, son Jim Barton and wife Martha, daughters Jo Ann Walker and Julie Christian, grandchildren Jack Walker and Kathryn Grace Walker, and numerous nieces and nephews.
The family is grateful to doctors Raja Naidu, JB Naidu, and Razaak Jabur and to the nurses and staff at Odessa Regional Medical Center, at Madison House Medical Resort, and at Odessa Hospice House.
A memorial service is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Friday, March 28, 2014, at Antioch Christian Church with Minister Matt Wilson presiding. Reception will follow.
Published in Odessa American on Mar. 27, 2014