Florence Garcia

Florence Garcia, 85, of Waco, passed Monday, August 18th at her residence.

Cremation services under the care of Lake Shore Funeral Home.

Florence was born July 25, 1929 in Pontiac, Michigan.  She was the sixth of ten siblings.  Her family moved to Pontiac after a stay in Hearne, Texas because they were fleeing the Mexican Revolution.

Around age sixteen she met her future husband, Elias De Leon Garcia, at the Wilson Foundry & Machine Company.  They had their first child, Michael Garcia in 1949, then moved to Waco, Texas in the hot summer of  1954.  Three boys were born in Pontiac.  The two girls are Texans.

Florence worked at Hillcrest and later at Providence hospital where she became the first Certified Operating Room Technician in the city of Waco.

In Waco, she participated with Primera Iglesia Bautista and eventually started traveling with them to Mexico and New Mexico on mission trips.  On one of these trips to New Mexico she listened to the church pray for a Sunday school teacher and felt the call to be in full time ministry service.  She worked bi-vocationally in Minturn,  and  Vail Colorado as a nanny and in the church.  She also worked for McDonalds.

A Pastor out there decided they wanted to study at the seminary so she attended the Hispanic Baptist Seminary (Baptist University of the Americas) in San Antonio and graduated in 1984 with a seminary degree; she worked there for 4 more years (as a dorm mother).  Florence went on the mission field to North Carolina as a missionary.  She worked in North Carolina in a nursing home with an apartment and was in charge of the night shift.  About 100,000 Hispanics work the tobacco fields and there was a need for educated people to pastor churches.  She grand-mothered the kids in New Mexico and then Diedra and Vasti, in North Carolina.  She was a mother figure and an encourager to many.

Florence retired back to Waco in 2000 then went to Michigan to care for her sister, Santos, who died of cancer.  She returned to Waco and was very active in the Booth apartments where she was president (5 terms) of the tenant council, and ran the thrift store.  She was active with  first United Methodist Church and traveled with them to Peru as a medical translator about 5 times.  She also traveled to the Big Bend, Lajitas, and across the Rio Grande  to Candelaria, The  boats crossings were closed after 09/11/2001 and the people relocated to Acuna, Mexico across from Del Rio, Texas.   She  taught bible studies and translated for those who taught quilt making to the Tarahumara Indian descendants  who were moved into the Acuna area.   She cooked regularly for family and friends  She led  Bible study,  taught Spanish classes, and led prayer groups.

She was small in stature, very petite, but a very strong woman with a powerful faith in God.  She came to know Jesus as an adult.  She had a very difficult marriage and the church reached out to her through their kindergarten. The work of Jesus in her life transformed her and she lived to reflect him in all she would do. She had been a smoker but stopped completely after she came to faith.  A friend described Florence as “all in for Jesus.”

Florence is preceded in death by  siblings, Guadalupe, John, Jessie, Santos, Mary, Virginia,  Manuel; son, Charlie; grandson, Aaron; and great granddaughter, Grainne Marie.

Florence is survived by her brother, Willie Garcia; sister, Dolores Farrell; her children, Mike Garcia, Henry Garcia, Carolyn Plant, and Monica Swindall; and many  grandchildren,  Amerika, Rebeka, Lia, Michal, Jenetha, Brandon, Link, Amanda, Adam, Nathan, Robin, April, Jeffery, Kenny, and David; and several great grandchildren, Trenton, Isaiah, Braxton, Thomas, Noree, and Evan with  more on the way.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Mike and Joan, Henry, Carrie and Jerry, Monica and Mike, April:
    Frank and I are praying for all of you, but are glad she is no longer suffering. I’m glad she had a nice visit with Aunt Dolly and know she must be having a fantastic reunion with all those waiting for her. May God give you all peace as you deal with the loss of your mom /grandmother.
    Frank and Sherry Chapa

  2. Verna LaStrapes

    Carolyn, I am so very sorry for your loss. You & yours are in our prayers. We both know she is now truly home, which is a better place. You will see her again someday. Meantime, you have many wonderful memories to sustain you.

  3. I first met Florence in Sunday school at Primera Iglesia Bautista in Waco. I was 8 years old. I remember those Sundays well. She was one of my Sunday School teachers. She often led the class in arts and crafts. As a kid, it was exciting for me. I could always count on Florence (Miss Garcia at the time) to help me color, paint or build a craft to take home. As the years moved on, I remember Florence as an active member of our church. She was among those members the church could count on. Her faith was strong and she displayed it by helping others and witnessing to those seeking salvation. It was a blessing to know Florence and I know that God opened his arms this week to welcome her at Heaven’s gate. My family extends our condolences to her sons and daughters (Carrie and Monica) and to the rest of her immediate and extended family. She will be missed her, but I know she’s right now with our Savior, Jesus Christ.

  4. My prayers are with each and everyone of you. Florence was such a wonderful person. She always thought of others even in her last days. She never complained about anything. Her faith was so strong I know the Lord has a special place for her. I will also miss her so much. God bless all of you and keep you strong. My love always.

  5. Susan Messer RN

    Your Mother was fortunate to have such a loving and supportive family and friends – our prayers and thoughts are with you – thank you for allowing us to assist with her care – Providence Hospice Team

  6. God bless everyone aunt Florence was always so nice she will greatly be missed.

  7. Blanche Filoteo Dunham

    Mike,Henry, Carrie and Monica I so very sorry for your loss, but I know the your Mother is with the living Savior that she served all of her Christian life. I remember vividly growing up with all of you on 4th St. and your Mother teaching us at Primera Iglesia Bautista. I will never forget her presences there and working so hard to raise you in God’s word. the best she could. Those that her life touched were blessed. God Bless you all. Know that she is truly resting in the arms of the God she served so will.

  8. Jonathan Richardson

    To my neighborhood family, the Swindalls – my heart goes out to you all. Know that my thoughts and prayers are with you during this time of loss. God has gained a solider; you each have gained a priceless inheritance of her legacy that gives her the power to live on through your lives. Love you always, I’m just a call or text away.

  9. Robin and family, I am so sorry for your great loss. Prayers for you and your family. I know she was so proud of you!

  10. Dolores Farrell( Dolly)

    My prayers and thoughts are with the family at this time. I am so glad I got to visit with her before she died, but she’s at peace now. May God bless you all. R.I.P. dear sister!!!!

  11. Edward Rodriguez

    We are deeply saddened at the passing of our dear Aunt Florence. May she rest in peace along with her brothers and sisters including our dear mother, Mary. They are all in the hands of God where they are at peace and will rest eternally. Aunt Florence was a woman of strength and character. She was a true believer in Jesus and a wonderful person. We are honored to have been a part of her life. On behalf of the Rodriguez family, please accept our deepest condolences. We will miss her and think of her often. Your loving Nephew, Lalo

  12. Maricarmen Rangel

    Mike & Family,

    Our deepest condolences to you and all your family. May GOD grant you peace and serenity during these difficult times. Your mother left a beautiful legacy behind. What a blessing to leave your loved ones with memories they will cherish forever in their hearts.

  13. I knew Florence for many years as I worked at William Booth Garden Apts. and also lived there for a while. She was a very special lady, and will be missed. Your all in our prayers. God Bless you.. John & Leslie Kieran

  14. Frances Gentry Rood

    So sorry I have no phone numbers. I have been thinking of all of you. I had a very special hour long visit with her in the hospital. I will miss her very much.

  15. I just want to say that I was very sad to hear of Aunt Florence passing. She did so much for me during my teen years. She allowed me to live in her home during my high-school years. She treated me like I was her own child. I very much appreciated what she did for me. She is now looking down on us at our Father’s side, no more pain and no more suffering. Gone from this world but not from our hearts.

  16. He will swallow up* death forever, And the Sovereign Lord Jehovah will wipe away the tears from all faces.+ The reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, For Jehovah himself has spoken it. My thoughts and prayers are with each and every family member. With Love E. Marie Ragland

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