Rev. Benjamin Garcia

SHAWANO, Wis. – Rev. Benjamin O. Garcia, 85, of Shawano, passed away Monday, June 3, 2013, in Shawano.

Born on Oct. 9, 1927, in Presidio, Texas, he was the son of the late Gustavo and Isabel (Ochoa) Garcia. After high school, Ben enlisted with the United States Army and served his country for four years, including two years in Korea and a year in Japan. He was honorably discharged as a sergeant in 1951.

On Dec. 22 of that same year he was united in marriage to Beverly Giannunzio in Iron Mountain. After marriage the couple lived in Madison, Wis., where Ben worked as a machinist for Gisholt & Machine and later Nagel and Hart as a diesel mechanic. In 1972 the couple moved to the Bonduel, Wis. area where they owned and operated a dairy farm. In 1976, Ben owned and operated the Chalet Restaurant and later managed the Clintonville Golf Club.

On Oct. 29, 1977 Ben was ordained by Aloysius Wycisla at the St. Peters Cathedral in Green Bay, Wis. His Diaconal assignments included St. Martins Parish in Cecil and Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Shawano. He was also the chaplain at the V.A. Hospital in Iron Mountain and was permanent deacon at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Iron Mountain.

In 1982, the couple moved to Iron Mountain where Ben also managed a mobile home park for older active adults until retiring in 1992 and returning to the Shawano area. Ben was a member of the Knights of Columbus and volunteered with the Boy Scouts of America. He was a true cowboy straight out of the old west who loved to tell stories. His comical sense of humor and his favorite saying, “Can I tell you something” will be sadly missed by all who knew him.

Ben is survived by his beloved wife of 61 years, Beverly; six children, Daniel (Marge) Garcia of San Antonio, Texas, Howard (Colleen) Garcia of Vermont, Cheryl (David) Schmidt of Green Bay, Carlos (Lilliana) Garcia of Greenville, Wis., Consuelo (Russ) Huebner of Shawano, and Maranita (Rodney) Gretzinger of Shawano; 20 grandchildren, Jason (Becky), Joshua (Melissa), Joseph (Jackie) and Jacob Garcia, Kim (Mark) Campbell, Michael Bouchard, Jennifer (Shane) Garceau, Keeley and Stacey Garcia, Jessica (Jason) Keller, Sarah (Scott) Scharenbrock, David Schmidt, Cory, Andres and Melina Garcia, Danielle (special friend, Dan Doxtater) and Dustin (special friend, Alea Zehren) Buettner, Jeremy (Melanie), Crystal (special friend, Eric Trower) and Amber (fianc, Joe Hanrahan) Gretzinger; and 16 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at noon on Wednesday, June 5, at the Swedberg Funeral Home in Shawano.

Visitation will be held at the funeral home in Shawano on Wednesday from 10 a.m. until the time of the service.

Military rites will be conducted by the American Legion Post 117.