PHARR, RGV – World War II veteran, attorney, civic leader and former state Rep. Antonio Cantu Garcia, better known as A.C. “Tony” Garcia, has passed away at the age of 95.
The Mercedes native served in the Texas House, representing the city of Pharr and surrounding communities for 12 years, from 1974 to 1986.
Visitation is Friday, Jan. 1, 2016, from 1:00 PM to 9:00 PM at Garcia & Treviño Funeral Home in Mercedes. The Rosary takes place Friday, Jan. 1, 2016, at 7 p.m. Funeral Mass is Saturday, Jan. 2, 2016, 10 AM at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church, in Mercedes. Interment will follow at Restlawn Memorial Park in La Feria, under the direction of Garcia & Treviño Funeral Home of Mercedes.
Here is his Tony Garcia’s obituary:
ANTONIO CANTU GARCIA PHARR/MERCEDES – Antonio Cantu Garcia, better known as A.C. “Tony” Garcia or Tony Garcia to his family, friends and clients was born on July 3, 1920 in Mercedes, Texas. He died December 24, 2015. He is the son of Abel Garcia Sr. and Angelita Cantu Garcia.
He graduated from Mercedes High School in 1939, attended Junior College in Edinburg, Texas for one year and the Citizens Military Training for 2 years. In 1942, he married his sweetheart Lucille Champion Garcia and joined the United States Army Air Corp where he served and became a WWII Veteran. In 1946, he was honorably discharged and he began helping his father in the family business, a grocery store well known in Mercedes, Texas as A.G. Garcia and Bros.
In 1947, he attended the University of Texas in Austin, Texas under the GI Bill graduating in 1950 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Government. During the years of 1950-1958, he went back to help his father with the grocery store business. Became involved in politics. Was elected and served as City Commissioner of the City of Mercedes for four consecutive years, was an active member of the Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church in Mercedes, Texas, was also an active member of the Mercedes Chamber of Commerce where he helped organized the Junior Chamber of Commerce, was also a member of the American Legion and served as Vice-Commander.
During those years, he helped is father expand the grocery store business opening a store in Pharr, Texas, Weslaco, Texas and Harlingen, Texas. During the time that he was operating these stores, he managed to open an insurance agency. In 1965, Mr. Garcia worked with the Adult Migrant Program in McAllen ISD and Mercedes ISD.
In the year 1967, Mr. Garcia decided to enroll in Law School and was accepted to the Texas Southern University. He obtained his Doctors of Juris Prudence in 1970 at the age of 50. Mr. Garcia is a true example for the young generation of today proving that it’s never too late to continue your education. After graduation, Mr. Garcia worked for the Texas Rural Legal Aid for about two years. Since the year 1972 he had been dedicated to his law practice which was located in the City of Pharr, Texas. Throughout his lifetime he was dedicated to his profession and to his community by following the slogan of “Providing Service, Before Self”.
In 1974 he was elected as Texas State Representative and served for 12 consecutive years. During his years as Texas State Representative, Mr. Garcia passed the Short Handle Hoe, which fell under the United Farm Workers. He was also co-author of many other bills together with Senator Carlos Truan and Senator Raul Longoria.
In 1995, Mr. Garcia was appointed Municipal Court Judge of the City of Pharr.
He was preceded in death by his father and mother, his wife Lucille Garcia, his daughter Diana Garcia Sandoval, his brother Abel Garcia, Jr. and wife, Margot Arle Garcia, and his brother Amado Garcia. He is survived by his son, Gus Garcia, two granddaughters, Audrey Sandoval Kreamer (Paul) and Lisa Garcia Maldonado (Marco) and six great grandchildren, his brother Amador Garcia and wife, Rose Mary Garcia, two sisters-in-law, Estella Garcia and Irene De La Vina, and various nephews and nieces.