Funeral services for Derek G. Garcia, 24, of Portales, will be held at 10:30 AM, Sat., Aug. 3, 2019 at the Central Christian Church with Dr. David McFaden officiating, assisted by Rev. Mark McAfee. Local pallbearers will be his father, Gregory Garcia, his brothers, Gabriel Garcia, Timothy Garcia, Aaron Garcia and Luke Garcia along with Zach Lorenz. Quinten Carmichael has been named as an honorary pallbearer. Burial will be at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, TX at 10:15 AM, Wed., Aug. 7, 2019. Those desiring to make memorial contributions may send them to the Dora Schools to fund a scholarship in Derek’s name.
Derek Gregory Garcia was born July 9, 1995 in San Antonio, TX to the home of Annmarie (Battle) and Gregory J. Garcia, and died early on the morning of July 27, 2019 in Portales. The Garcia family moved to Portales when Derek was 9 years old. He attended school in Dora, and was a 2014 graduate of Dora High School. Derek was a member of FFA, and while in the 9th grade, he won a district Greenhand speech contest. He was a very patriotic young man. Derek was the district, regional and State of New Mexico winner of the VFW Voice of Democracy in 2013. He also won a writing contest for the Daughters of the American Revolution.
In high school, Derek played on the football team, ran track and was active in BPA. He also announced the basketball games and other sporting events, and even recorded the greeting for the answering machine for the Dora Schools. Derek was a hard-working young man, and worked on numerous ranches, including the Blake Inge ranch, while in high school. He also worked for Jori's Landscaping, as well as for DeFoor Horses and Greenhouse. In addition he was part of the family business, and worked on his time off with his brothers for Daddy's Hands Lawn Care, LLC.
Upon graduation from high school, Derek followed his patriotic desire and enlisted in the US Army. He was a Paratrooper SPC, and was honorably discharged in Nov. of 2018. He had returned home to make his life in his hometown. Derek served in the 2nd of the 503rd Infantry Batalion 173rd Airborne Division in Vicenza, Italy. He participated in numerous missions while stationed overseas, including Operation Enduring Freedom in the Ukraine. He had 38 career jumps as a paratrooper. He was a member of the 82nd Airborne Division at Ft. Bragg, NC. Following his discharge, he was making his career with Dairy Farmers of America in Portales as a Lab Tech.
Growing up, he was very active in church, and as a teen he taught the younger teens on Wed. night. Derek was a member of the High Plains Harley Davidson Owners. In addition to riding his motorcycle, he enjoyed camping and hiking, and loved to dance. Derek was a "country boy" at heart. He always had a big smile, and tended to make light of bad situations. He was always outgoing, and made friends easily.
On Oct. 8, 2017, in Fayetteville, NC, he was married to Juliet Alfano. He is survived by his wife, of Nashville, TN; his parents, Annmarie and Greg Garcia of Portales; four brothers, Gabriel Garcia, Timothy Garcia, Aaron Garcia and Luke Garcia and a sister, Kimberlyn Garcia all of Portales; his paternal grandparents, Annette Garcia of San Antonio, TX and Arthur (Nora)Garcia of Denver, CO; his aunts and uncles, Genevieve Garcia of San Antonio, TX, Andrea (Jeff) Vidaurri of San Antonio, TX, Frederick (Deidre) Battle of Plymton, MA and Catherine (Kenneth) Haskell of Mashpee, MA; six cousins, Lincoln Radicke, Mayim Vidaurri, Christopher and Katie Battle and Nicholas and Nate Haskell; and his faithful dog, Augie. He was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, Ann and Russell Battle.
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