SHEILA E. GARCIA Sheila Elizabeth Kavanaugh Garcia, a long-time resident of Santa Fe and Rio Rancho, passed away Saturday, March 23, 2013 in her home following a lengthy illness. She was 70 years old. Sheila was born on February 9th, 1943 in Cleveland, Ohio to William Kavanaugh and Eileen Smith Kavanaugh. She graduated from Mentor High School and enlisted in the US Navy in 1961. She served a 4-year tour-of-duty as a Navy Radioman, assigned to various Naval Communications Stations where she worked with Top Secret materials during the onset of the Vietnam War. While on active duty, and in her late teens, Sheila became a military parachutist and sky-diver with the Jacksonville Naval Air Station, Navy Sports Parachute Club. She made many parachute jumps and free-falls from various military aircraft with members of elite parachutists of the Navy, Air Force, and Army. During the height of her naval career, she held the Tri-Military Service record for the highest free-fall sky-diving jump in 1964. In 1965, she married Alfonso Garcia in San Diego and both established permanent residence in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she worked at the Pepsi Cola Company as an Accountant. Sheila graduated from the College of Santa Fe, Santa Fe, New Mexico. She joined the New Mexico Air National Guard where she worked as an Employee Development Specialist and eventually retired as a Senior Master Sergeant. In her later years, she moved to Rio Rancho, New Mexico in 1999 where she enjoyed daily contact with her children, grandchildren and great grandchild. Sheila loved good food, family events, and socializing and had a wonderful smile that could light up a room. She loved to read, sew, and travel to visit her sisters and family. She was preceded in death by her parents; her brothers, Dennis Taylor Kavanaugh and Harry Allen Kavanaugh; and her 35-year old daughter, Martha Fedelina Ramirez. She is survived by her sisters: Martha Ann Dorset and husband Richard Dorset and Diane Terese Kavanaugh; her daughters: Ann Victoria Garcia-Lucas and husband Bryan Lucas, Virginia Susanna Garcia and husband Chris Garcia, and Mary Elizabeth Joan Garcia and partner Fred Sisneros; and son-in-law David Smail; her beloved 14 grandchildren: Edward "Alf" Ramirez, Amanda Garcia-Rivera, Sheila Smail, Chris "CJ" Garcia, Ronald Justin Smail, Kyle Duran, Sean Montgomery, Jesse Duran, Estevan Garcia, Alejandra Montgomery, Josh Garcia, Valerie Garcia, Victor Garcia, and Martha Garcia; and a great granddaughter, Cordelia Ramirez; numerous nieces, grand nieces, nephews, and grand nephews, all of whom brought great joy to her life. The pall bearers are: Edward "Alf" Ramirez, Chris "CJ" Garcia, Ronald Justin Smail, Kyle Duran, Jesse Duran, and Estevan Garcia. Honorary pall bearers are Sheila Smail, Alejandra Montgomery and Josh Garcia. A Rosary will be recited Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 10 am with a Mass of Resurrection following at 10:30 am at St. John Vianney Catholic Church, 1000 Ecilpse Ave NE, Rio Rancho. Interment Tuesday, April 2, 2013, 1 pm,at Rosario Cemetery, 499 N. Guadalupe St, Santa Fe, NM. Military Honors Flag Folding performed by grandchildren Senior Airman Amanda Garcia-Rivera, New Mexico Air National Guard and Cadet Senior Master Sergeant Sean Montgomery, AFJROTC. Sheila will forever be remembered as someone who has extended her love to others, animals and her family. For her generous contributions to the World Wildlife Foundation, UNM Children's hospital and multiple animal rescue organizations. But more importantly, Shelia will leave with us all, an unmatchable legacy as a sister, aunt, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She will truly be missed. (Information for reception will be provided following the Military Honors at Rosario Cemetery. Donations can be made at the reception). To view information or leave a condolence please visit Daniels Family Funeral Services 2400 Southern Blvd Rio Rancho, NM 87124 505-891-9192
Published in Santa Fe New Mexican on Jan. 1, 1900