Nino I. Garcia, 98, of Patagonia, AZ, passed away peacefully in his sleep in Tucson on November 23 2020.

Nino was born August 8, 1922 in Salt Lake City, UT, to Jessie Aparicio Garcia and Gregorio Garcia. Nino moved to California shortly after his honorable discharge from the U.S. Army where he served as a Private First Class from January 8, 1943 to January 31, 1946. He was a Field Lineman and Marksman Rifle M-1 in the New Guinea Campaign, receiving American and Asiatic Pacific Theater Service Ribbons, Philippine Liberation Service Ribbon, Distinguished Unit Badge, and Victory Medal. 

Nino retired from Exide Technologies in 1981 and relocated to Patagonia in 1990, where he resided in the Mowry mountains for 28 years. He enjoyed being a small rancher with a few cattle and horses for some years until his advanced age made ranching improbable. He could be seen driving through the mountain roads several times a week going for feed or other necessities for his beloved animals and himself – in that order. Nino was fiercely independent and treasured his life and his communion with nature. He rarely traveled far from his beloved mountains, except for road trips with cousin Martha to Utah and Wyoming, and enjoyed her visits and those from nephew David Nuno.

In January 2018 he suffered severe injuries and dehydration when he drove into a ravine and attempted to walk home nearly three miles at his advanced age of 95. It necessitated hospitalization, surgery and rehabilitation in Tucson. He then entered assisted living in Tucson in March 2018 until his passing in November 2020, where he enjoyed bird watching, reading, light weight “training,” dozing under the Tucson sunshine, sipping wine or a cold beer, and watching sports in the friendship of his new friend and co-resident Gene Easterbury, who sadly predeceased him. 

Nino is survived by his sister Beatrice Jacobs of Salt Lake City, cousins Stella McEvoy of Arcadia, CA and Martha Aparicio of Rancho Mirage, CA, as well as several generations of nephews and nieces, including David Nuno of Pinedale, WY.

Sincere thanks to all the Patagonia residents who lent support and friendship and enriched Nino’s mountain life. Special thanks to Charlie Montoy and his mother Norma, who were helpful in so many ways throughout the years both to Nino and his cousin Martha, who visited frequently and helped manage Nino’s survival. Thanks as well to neighbors/friends Gail Shawe and Joel Bernstein (who found Nino after his accident and called the paramedics) and Ellen Fisher. 

Post-COVID, a small memorial will be held in Patagonia in the spring of 2021. Nino’s remains will be scattered in the Mowry mountains and at the gravesite of his beloved mother in Utah. Nino was pre-deceased by six brothers (Joe, Lee, Johnny, Benny, Jaime and Richard) and two sisters (Pat and Josefina). The sharing of memorable “Nino stories” would be appreciated. Please send to Donations in Nino’s memory can be made to the National Audubon Society.