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MILESTONES

AUGUST 16, 2019

OBITUARIES

John Garcia 100th birthday memorial Mass

Myron L. Sorenson

Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Brentwood will hold a bilingual memorial Mass for Father John Garcia on Friday, Aug. 30. The Mass is in celebration of what would have been his 100th birthday. Garcia — who died in 2003 — was a priest for 54 years and served at Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) for 17 years, as well as at churches in Byron, Oakley, Martinez and Hayward.

March 18, 1927 – May 28, 2019 A celebration of life will be held Saturday, Aug. 17, at 1 p.m. at the Brentwood Community United Methodist Church, 802 Second St. Lunch will be served following the service. Funeral arrangements are private, per Myron’s wishes.

ed to take pictures. He had a paper route and saved most of the money to buy his first car, a little gray Toyota. He sold enough new starts to the Antioch Ledger to win a trip to Disneyland. He played trombone in fourth through 12th grade and on into Diablo Valley College. He was in the gifted program. He sang the lead in “Oliver” and a lead in “The Music Man.” He knew the lyrics from most of the songs from the ’70s. He loved going to concerts, especially at the Oakland Coliseum, and had a huge tape, CD and Rolling Stone magazine collection. Bill was an altar boy, a lector and an usher at Immaculate Heart Church. He and his brother, David, served Mass on Christmas Eve, Easter, Good Friday and many, many Sundays. He was a Boy Scout and a Y Indian Guide. Bill and his mother walked many miles every week on the Marsh Creek Trail, with other family members sometimes accompanying them. Yosemite was his favorite place for hiking and swimming – he and his family spent the first week after school at Yosemite every year

William Douglas Winthrop Jr.

July 30, 1962 – Aug. 5, 2019 Bill, our beautiful son, brother, uncle, godfather and friend, closed his sweet eyes one last time, and holding his sister Julie’s hand, slept deeply and crossed over the threshold into Heaven. A family member was with Bill every day he was at Lone Tree Convalescent Hospital. As a little boy, Bill’s parents, William and Shirley Winthrop, called him “Working Bill,” because he was always busy. He sold flower seeds in the neighborhood to earn a camera. He was reading National Geographic Society magazine when he was 5 — he pronounced it “Geogropic Sockity,” but he knew what he was reading. He loved the photographs and want-

Garcia was Portuguese and a fluent Spanish speaker, and was said to be instrumental in helping the Spanishspeaking communities he served. He was known for his “five-minute visits” to people within the community who were in need. Giving out his personal phone number and encouraging people to contact him, Garcia was said to be a “priest around the clock.” Garcia was known not only to be a man of his church, but a man of his local community. He was often seen at city parades as well as Liberty High School games and city hall meetings. One year, he was the grand marshal of a holiday parade. Even after retiring in 2001, he conuntil he was 18. He loved summer vacations in Missouri with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, fishing and swimming in Salt River at the Lillis farm and Uncle Danny’s farm. He liked eating dinner at noon. Cards? It was hard to beat Bill. He knew which cards had been played and which cards were still in the deck! He enjoyed the grandchildren’s antics and stories. Bill worked in the corn for the Stonebargers; at Best Buy in Pleasant Hill; for the school district in the summer, painting, repairing roofs, cleaning and more. He traveled to Ireland, England, Mexico, Canada and many of the states. He and Aunt Bernadine had a hilarious moment on a bus in Ireland, one of many! Bill was a loyal friend and spoke often of his affection for Jerry, Ron, Adrian, Chris, Keith and Dennis. Bill and Keith shared a love for Star Trek and Star Trek conventions. Suddenly, out of the blue, in his late teens, Bill was struck by a terrible, debilitating disease: schizophrenia. People he had thought of as friends closed their doors in his face, told him to go home and

Worship Services Camino Diablo Rd. & McCabe Rd. Byron • 634-6625

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tinued his service. “For the time being, I would expect to be saying Mass on Sundays and hearing confessions and visiting people and so on — pretty much what I’ve been doing,” Garcia said in a January 2002 article in The Catholic Voice. The beloved priest’s 100th birthday memorial Mass will be held Friday, Aug. 30, 8:30 a.m., at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, 500 Fairview Ave. in Brentwood. Live testimonials and refreshments will follow at 9:30 a.m. For more information, call 925-2345288, 925-584-5452, or email evilla@ ihmbrentwood.com or frarturo@ ihmbrentwood.com. never come back, even after he was on medication. They broke his heart, but he never had a bad word to say about them. He said, “They didn’t mean to hurt me.” They did, though, carelessly, cruelly, shamefully and needlessly. Bill was an outgoing, funny, smart, interesting child. He had a beautiful soul. He was terribly lonely the rest of his life. Fortunately, he had a loving family, who stood by him for the rest of his life and who never let him forget how much he meant to us. He leaves behind his broken hearted family who mourn him and the life he might have had. Thank you, David, Jodie, Morgan, Paige and Jon, Mark, Julie, Sal, Joseph, Marisa, Wendy, Gladys, Bernadine, Dan, Sue, Joe, Jane, Tony and Vera. We also thank Walter Gorsky, Andrew Smith, Deborah Tyler and the Lone Tree Convalescent Hospital for the last few months and everyone who helped make Bill’s life a little happier. A memorial mass will be held for Bill at IHM Church, Aug. 28 at 5 p.m.

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