Obituary-Michelle Garcia

On Wednesday, April 3, 2024, Michelle Garcia, beloved mother and friend to many, passed away peacefully, at Ascension Via Christi hospital in Manhattan, Kansas. She was eighty-six years old and enjoyed a long, unselfish and rewarding life upon this earth. Michelle was born on October 27, 1937 in Ars-Sur-Moselle, France to Onesime Mathisse and Marguerite Marie Bonhomme and had one brother, Andre Mathisse. “Mimi”, as she was known to her childhood friends, met her husband, Santiago “Sam” Am-is Garcia who was in the United States Army, stationed in Fort Campbell, Kentucky in 1967. They were married for thirty years thereafter until his untimely death in 1997.

Michelle’s first son, Randolph, was born in Bar-Le-Duc, France in 1957 and immediately thereafter, she emigrated to the United States, child in arms. She fell in love with her new country, and gained naturalized citizenship in 1962 . Her three daughters, Catherine, Linda and Kimberly, were born in 1959 at Aberdeen Md, 1961 at Ft. Campbell and 1963 at Ft. Campbell, respectively. In 1968, Michelle and Sam were blessed with a second son, James at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Later that year, Sam was assigned to duty in Mannheim, Germany and the growing family was rewarded with the birth of their third son, Steven, completing their generation of children.

Sam was stationed to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri in 1971 and Michelle shortly found a homesite in nearby Waynesville in 1973, where they settled and built a home that gave them 28 wonderful years of happiness. They created a loving and nurturing environment for her family until Sam’s death.

In 2009, Michelle followed James and Steven to St. Louis, Missouri and lived there for eight years. She frequently remembered those as some of the best years of her life, surrounded by family and neighbors who visited often. Two of Michelle’s granddaughters remember visiting with “Granny G” and stealing jellybeans out of her candy jar on the kitchen counter, or making flavored coffees in her always bustling kitchen.

Having spent many years near James and Steven, Michelle decided she wanted to spend time near her oldest son Randy and moved to Wakefield, Kansas in 2016… her final stop along life’s journey. Michelle lived out her remaining eight years surrounded by her son, grandchildren and friends and neighbors who loved her wit and generosity.

During her life, Michelle spent innumerable hours in volunteer work. She was in charge of the Senior Citizens Center in Waynesville, attended Bellarmine Church with Sam, volunteered frequently at the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), did taxes for veterans for free, and donated often to local charities. In Wakefield, she was active in the Madura Church and the VFW Auxiliary 7774, and was a very supportive member of the Wakefield Museum. Mom was an accomplished seamstress, and loved arts and crafts. She was not a materialistic person, but her sewing machines were near and dear to her heart. She also had a great love of symphony and opera, enjoyed full orchestra music and was quite the violinist, almost playing professionaly for an orchestra in France, although life had other plans for her. Her generosity knew no bounds, and her love for her children and grandchildren sustained her through the final days of her life.

Michelle was preceded in death by her parents, first husband Trudy Hancock, her husband Sam Garcia and grandsons Anthony, Andrew and Randall. She is survived by her son Randy (Pam), daughter Cathy

(Jeff), daughter Linda (Daryl), daughter Kim, son James (Amy) and son Steven. Many grandkids and great grandkids.

A small memorial service at the Madura Church in Wakefield for Michelle will be announced at a later time. In lieu of flowers memorials can be made to the Wakekfield Museum or the Wakefield Arboretum in care of the Neill-Schwensen-Rook Funeral Home. There will also be a dogwood tree planted in the Wakefield Arboretum as a lasting memory. As the family writes this obituary for their loving mother and grandmother, the pain of memory is still so fresh, but many of these tears are tears of joy as we rejoice in remembering her Life.

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