Martha Xochitl Garcia Born in Austin, Texas on December 7, 1919 Died May 4, 2012 Martha Xochitl Garcia, an Austin pharmacist, author, and archivist with a keen interest in her family history, died peacefully at Meridian Care Skilled Nursing facility in San Antonio, after a prolonged illness at the age of 92. Daughter of Alberto G. Garcia, MD, one of the first United States trained Mexican American physicians (Tulane University School of Medicine, 1914), and Eva Carrillo Garcia, RN. They were both Episcopal Methodist medical missionaries in Mexico before settling in Austin in 1915. As a daughter of these early Austin civil rights advocates, it was not surprising that Martha became one of the first female pharmacy graduates of the University of Texas (1942), and in the United States. She pioneered in breaking the glass ceiling of this previously male dominated profession. She was encouraged as an Austin High School student, by both her father, and the guardian of her father, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg of Battle Creek, Michigan, to consider a career as a pharmacist. Dr. Kellogg told her that there was "no reason that a female couldn't perform as well as a male pharmacist in this field." She successfully confronted multiple challenges in pursuing her career as a female Hispanic American practicing pharmacist and divorced mother of three in Austin, Texas. She loved her profession and served as a mentor and source of encouragement for many future female and minority pharmacy students at the University of Texas. She contributed many family historical documents to the Austin Historical Center, the Austin Public Library, libraries at the University of Texas, and worked diligently to have the Garcia home at 1214 Newning Ave., declared a historic site. She is survived by her sister Maria Garcia Roach, C.R.N.A .in Montreal, Canada; three children, Maria Thornhill (University of Texas School of Pharmacy, 1969), Jerjes A. Rodriguez (attended North Texas State University), Nicanor F. Rodriguez, MD (University of Texas, 1973 and the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, 1978); six grandchildren, and seven great grandchildren. She will be dearly missed. Funeral services for Ms. Garcia were held at half past three o'clock in the afternoon on Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at Cook-Walden Capital Parks Funeral Home with Pastor Darnell Banks officiating. Graveside services followed at Cook-Walden Capital Parks Cemetery. The family received guests for a reception and fellowship at one o'clock in the afternoon on Wednesday, May 9, 2012 at Cook-Walden Capital Parks Funeral Home. To share memories with Ms. Garcia's family, please visit www.cookwaldencapitalparks.com
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Published in Austin American-Statesman from May 7 to May 13, 2012