OBITUARY: Joseph A. Garcia (Joe)

by Jun 15, 2023OBITUARIES0 comments

Joseph A. Garcia (Joe), 70, of Ohkay Owingeh, N.M. passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, May 11, 2023, at the UNM Hospital in Albuquerque, N.M. He was the son of the late Peter Sr and Reycita Garcia. He was preceded in death by his son, Nate Garcia and two brothers, Elmer and Gordon.

He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Oneva West Garcia, of the Big Cove Community; two daughters, Melissa Garcia, of Cherokee, and MorningStar Garcia, of New Mexico; six grandchildren, Kaelynn, Marcela, I-Rey, Imperia, Emiliano, and Lake Van Garcia; and two-great grandchildren, Zephie and Xavier. He is also survived by one brother and five sisters of New Mexico.

Joe enjoyed spending time with his family – Taking his grandchildren swimming and watching them play sports. He also enjoyed listening to and playing music. He was loved very much and will be greatly missed by those who knew him.

Garcia attended Haskell Indian Junior College where he met his wife, Oneva, then served on term in the U.S. Air Force. Later, he attended the University of New Mexico where he earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. He was also an instructor at Northern New Mexico Community College. Joe then worked at the Los Alamos National Laboratory for 25 years, retiring in 2003. He then started his own consulting company, Misty Lake Consulting.

He was also a recipient of various service awards.

Joe was an inspiration and a prominent leader in Native American local and national history. He leaves behind a legacy of two terms as President of the National Congress of American Indians, three terms governor of Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, Chairman of the All-Indian Pueblo Council and Vice President of the Santa Fe Indian School Board.

A traditional burial was held at Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo on Friday, May 12. A memorial service will be held at a later date in Cherokee, N.C.