Celestino William Garcia

April 6, 1929February 11, 2014
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Bill Garcia, age 84, of Widefield, passed away at home February 11, 2014. He was born April 6, 1929 in La Junta, CO but grew up in Rocky Ford, CO prior to his military service which became his life-long passion.

He is survived by his son, Gregory; his daughter, Rhonda Lewis; his grandson, Joshua (Colleen) Lewis; his great-grandson, Francisco, and his brother-in-law, Werner Gierth. He was preceded in death by his devoted wife of 54 years, Helga.

Bill joined the Army Air Corps at age 17 but when it was discovered he was not yet 18 years old he was sent home where he stayed working with his dad as a sheepherder and as a pressman for Unique Cleaners in Rocky Ford. As soon as he turned 18 he joined the U. S Army, where he remained until his retirement in October 1968. He rose quickly through the enlisted ranks and became one of the youngest Command Sergeant Majors (CSM).

Throughout his retirement he was very active in the VFW, American Legion and especially the Special Forces Association. For many years, up to and including 2013, he attended the Special Forces Convention in Las Vegas, NV. Up until three years ago he would meet his comrade in arms Don Benjamin in Cheyenne, WY and drive in Don’s motor home to Las Vegas. After that he agreed reluctantly to take a flight to Las Vegas.

Among the many highlights of his career was sewing with the 11th and 101St Airborne as a paratrooper. He was stationed for many years at Fort Campbell, KY. He also proudly served the U. S. Army in assignments to Japan, Korea, Germany and Vietnam, where he had four different assignments. He was later assigned to Fort Carson, where he proudly served as CSM for the Aviation Battalion until his retirement in October 1968.

It was in Germany that he married his wife Helga in January, 1957. Bill was very proud that in whatever country he was assigned he learned to speak their language. He was fluent in Japanese, Korean and German, in addition to Spanish and English.

Bill was a member of a large close family. He was preceded in death by his parents, Donaciano and Lucy Garcia; his sisters, Ann, Viola, and Mary; his brother, Donald Ernest; his stepfather, Juan Zamora, and his stepbrothers, Joe and John Zamora. He is also survived by his sisters, Sylvia (Tony) Aragon and Bertha Garcia; his brother, Charles (Delia) Garcia, his stepsister, Mary Lou Zamora and his stepbrother, Isaac Zamora. Bill was very close to and was loved very much by all his nephews and nieces. They include Bob (Judy), Jimmy (Maria), Ben, Donny, Billy Vigil, Marilyn (Fernando) Sanchez, Pauline (Joe) Gil, Patty Arendt, Michael (Birdy), and Andy Bennett; Anthony (Linda) Garcia, Jonathan Marshall Garcia; Carla, Carlos (Theresa), and Christoper Garcia; his grandnephews, Nick Gonzales and Erik Garcia; his grandnieces Nyssa Garcia, Adriana Gonzales, Aurelia and Mia Garcia, and step nephews and nieces Becky Pacheco, Marisa (Jose) Gomez, Denise (Tony) Hernandez, and Vincent Zamora. He was also preceded in death by a niece, Nancy Juarez and nephew Larry Arendt.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, February 20, at Dove-Witt Family Mortuary, 6630 S. Highway 85/87, Fountain. Bill’s remains will be cremated. After completion of the new National Cemetery in Colorado Springs, Bill and Helga will be laid to rest.


  • Memorial Service Thursday, February 20, 2014

Celestino William Garcia

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Patricia Ahrendt

March 10, 2014

Uncle Bill. God bless you. You will always be in our thoughts and prayers we will miss you a lot. God you.

Jim Baumann

February 21, 2014

To the Garcia Family, our Sincere and Heartfelt condolences on Bill's passing. Our family knew Bill through the Special Forces Association. He was a great friend to my Dad, and also our entire family. Bill would check in on my Grandmother there in Security. Visit my Aunt at her cake store, and of course harass my Dad at Special Forces events. He had a Huge heart, was a very Loyal and Generous man, and we are all better for having known him.
"De Oppresso Liber"
The Baumann Family

Pauline Gil

February 21, 2014

Uncle Bill,
May you rest in peace. The stories of your time in the service will never be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family during this time. God Bless you.

February 20, 2014

Fond memories of Bill when we lived next door on Fay Drive for over twenty years. Bill was a good man, very caring, intelligent, interesting, and fun-loving.
Our sympathies to Greg, Rhonda and all the family.
Jeanie, Steve Jr., David, Mike, & Suzie

Suzanne Szabo

February 20, 2014

Growing up next door to Uncle Bill I was always ready for his smile and to hear his jokes. His service to his country and to the community touched many lives. A kind and compassionate man who readily helped others, Uncle Bill's life is a tribute to the warmth and generosity of spirit an open and caring man is capable of giving to all. I am honored to have known such a man. He will be greatly missed. Many condolences to his family.

Anthony Aragon

February 20, 2014

To the family, please accept my condolences. Growing up with Greg and Rhonda as part of my extended family, I've always considered and called you "Uncle Bill." Thank you for your dedicated service during your long and illustrious career. Your mentorship, guidance and leadership provided to your fellow brothers in arms served and continue to serve as a fine example of what it means to be a warrior who puts service before self while defending this great Country of ours. May you rest in peace.

Cynthia Wilkins

February 19, 2014

Condolences and prayers to all of the family during this time of mourning. Hugs and kisses to my dear friend Rhonda Lewis.

Bob Vigil

February 18, 2014

Goodbye to a real WARRIOR. Uncle Bill, I have fond memories when I joined you at your Paratrooper Reunion in Las Vegas. Your Army buddies demonstrated a sincere respect to you, when I observed a round-table of their jokes, and story=telling. You reacted humbly, and your sense of humor was always revealed. Thank you for your service to your country, and your contribution to your Elite Group. You will be missed. Our thoughts are with you and your family during this grieving time. Nephew Bob Vigil.

February 18, 2014

Uncle Bill, we will always cherish the great moments me and all my family shared with you and not to mention the wonderful talks you shared about your militarycareer! you were so proud of your military career and we ENJOYED listening to all your great stories! we were all amazed of your accomplishments and very proud to have you as r Uncle Bill! AS you now are reunited with Aunt Helen may you rest in peace! God Bless!WE LOVE YOU.NANNA and TATA AND THE FLORIDIANS

February 16, 2014

Uncle Bill, I wiil, always rember you as a mentor in all the people you touched in your visit here on earth. Forever
Andy Bennett San Antonio Texas