GARCIA, DR. PEDRO

Dr. Pedro Garcia Clarinda, Iowa Nov. 28, 1946-July 20, 2019 Dr. Pedro Garcia, age 72, of Clarinda, Iowa entered into peace Saturday, July 20, 2019 at his residence rural Clarinda, Iowa. Funeral Celebration of Life Services were held 10:30 AM Friday, July 26, 2019 at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Clarinda, Iowa with Reverend Jay Cline officiating. Visitation was held Thursday at Ritchie Funeral Home, Clarinda, Iowa from 5 to 7 PM with the family greeting friends. Interment was held at the Clarinda Cemetery, Clarinda, Iowa. Memorials may be directed to Westminster Presbyterian Church, Clarinda, Iowa. Memories and condolences may be shared with the family on our website at, www.ritchiefuneralhome.com under Obituaries. Arrangements were entrusted to the Ritchie Funeral Home of Clarinda, Iowa, where we 'Celebrate Life' . Pedro Enrique Garcia, Jr. was born in Camagüey, Cuba on November 28, 1946, to Pedro and Maria Eugenia Garcia. He was an active child and loved sports, especially baseball. After Communism struck Cuba in 1959, Pedro and his younger brother, Juan, came to the US in 1962. Upon their arrival to the Miami Airport, they saw an exit sign, which they immediately associated with success because in Spanish "exito" means success, so they followed the sign. They remained in a refugee camp in Kendal, Florida for three months until their mother arrived. Pedro was only 15. Pedro's mother was offered a teaching job in Clarinda, Iowa. Pedro's father was exiled in Spain at the time and was finally reunited with his family in Iowa. Upon their arrival in Clarinda, Pedro Jr. experienced snow for the first time. Clarinda High School is where it all began for Pedro. He learned English quickly, and during his sophomore year, now at age 16, he met his future wife, Bev Tomlinson, in a study hall. Bill Richardson, Ron Davis, Bob Mazawa, and many others became Pedro's lifelong friends. During his senior year at the University of Kansas, Bev and Pedro were married. They moved to Los Angeles and then to the San Diego area where Pedro began teaching Spanish at Poway High School. They were married from 1968-78, and had two children, Hydee and Eric. Pedro's love for the freedom and opportunities the US provided, encouraged him to manifest his own American Dream. He received a Master's degree from San Diego State and his doctorate in Education Administration from the University of Southern California. In 1984, he met Priscilla Partridge and were quickly married. Together with her three children, Heather, Heidi, and Blaze, they now united for the first time with Pedro's two children in Camarillo, California. The family enjoyed going to USC football games. Pedro's attendance for never missing a USC home game stretched over forty years. He worked his way to the top of his profession, and became one of the most dynamic superintendents in California and Tennessee. He went from one district to the next, with each one carrying more responsibility and size than its predecessor. Years after the children became adults, Pedro moved to Nashville, Tennessee where he became the Superintendent of Nashville Public Schools for seven years. He also served on many boards, and in 2003, was personally chosen by George W. Bush to be on the Presidential Commission on Service and Community Participation. In 2007, The Franklin Covey Corporation recognized him with their National Leadership Award. Upon his return to California, Pedro landed his dream job at his Alma Mater, USC in Los Angeles. Being a professor and mentoring doctoral students of the Rossier School of Education was a blessing to him. Pedro's health concerns resulted in his early retirement from USC. His homecoming to Clarinda came in late 2017. Pedro was not only an inspirational educator, prolific writer, creative photographer, self appointed movie critic, founding member of the Antifinks, master joke teller, beloved mentor, loyal friend, and excellent provider for his family but most of all, he was a devoted follower of Jesus Christ. He led Bible studies in both California and Iowa. He believed that the meaning of life was to glorify God -May his soul rest in peace with the Lord. He is preceded in death by his wife Priscilla, along with his father, Pedro, and mother, Maria Eugenia. Left to cherish his memory are Wanda Garcia of Clarinda; the five children, Heather Livingston (Rory), Heidi Johnsen (Ross), Hydee Tehana (Lisa), Blaze Holbert (Tisha), Eric Garcia-March; grandchildren, Ashleigh Gentry (Paul), Brittany Long (Bart), Chance (Alexandria), Hope and Georgia Peach Johnsen, Tommy and Alex Dullam, Callie, Ryan and Brady Holbert, Chloe, Evangeline, Magnus and Adelaide Garcia; and many, many friends.

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