Innocencio (Chencho) Garcia, an educator and property developer, died on Friday, Sept. 20, at the Cleveland Clinic in Weston, Florida. He was 69.
Garcia received his early education at the St. Mary Catholic Elementary School and the Christiansted High School. He played trombone with the then popular Christiansted High School Band under the direction of Maestro Angelo Marasco.
He attended the College of the Virgin Islands, now the University of the Virgin Islands, and received an Associates of Art degree in Construction Technology. His education continued at Morgan State University and Long Island University where he attained the bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
Though he worked at various jobs on the islands – including a brief period with the Martin Marietta Corporation – most of his employment was in the field of education, where he spent over 30 years with the public school system as a teacher of mathematics. He is remembered by his former students at the Elena Christian Junior High School and in the Adult-Education Programs as an exceptionally sociable teacher. During most of his tenure in the school system, he also served as the treasurer of St. Croix Federation of Teachers (AFT) for over 15 years, working with Cecil Benjamin and Vargrave Richards, the then AFT president and vice president. When he was not involved in teaching, he devoted his time to real estate development. After retirement, he spent much of his time managing his properties and traveling extensively to the mainland and the Caribbean.
Innocencio Garcia was born on St. Croix to the late Felicita James Garcia and Juan Garcia Velez.He was preceded in death by Joyce Finney and Jose Garcia.
He has two daughters: Tricia Garcia Veraart and Takisha Garcia Clouden; a son, Todd Ramon Garcia; an adopted daughter, Maribel Ramirez Smith; grandchildren: Micah Veraart, Miah Veraart and Kyrell Clouden; a goddaughters: Briana Roebuck and Melba Moore Barnes; his ex-wife, Deanna Williams Garcia; sons-in-law: Orman Clouden and the late Michael Veraart; brothers and sisters: Joyce Finney (deceased), Raphael James, Jose Garcia (deceased), Teresa Garcia Gaskin, Juanita Garcia Roebuck, Juan Antonio Garcia, Julia Garcia-Sergent, Kwame Garcia Sr., Felipe Garcia, Felicita Garcia Simpson and Ira Phillips; sisters-in-law: Grete James Garcia and Verna Christian Garcia; and special friend, Cassandra Taylor. While Innocencio was known for his pleasant personality with a network of hundred of friends, special mention includes: Milton Molyneau and Lawrence (Goody) Goodman, who worked with him in construction, and James (Jabang) Thompson, a special cousin. Garcia is also survived by many nieces, nephews, and other cousins and friends too numerous to mention.
A viewing will take place at 10 a.m. and a funeral service at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 30, at Holy Cross Catholic Church in downtown Christiansted. The interment will be at Kingshill Cemetery.
All arrangements are by James Memorial Funeral Home Inc.