Lakeshore Memorial Services

11939 James Street, Holland, MI


Rafael Garza

September 20, 1974March 17, 2020

Rafael Garza, known to friends and family as “Ralph”, passed away on March 17, 2020, at 45 years of age.

A graduate of Holland High, Ralph attended Ferris State University for two and a half years before finding a love for Alaska and commercial fishing. He spent several seasons in Alaska working as a commercial fisherman and laborer. His love for the outdoors was only second to the love he had for his daughter, Cecilia. After her arrival, Ralph never made it back to Alaska - and that was fine with him because he got to spend precious time with her. He cherished his time with Cecilia and had an amazing love for her.

In 2014, Ralph suffered a fall in a hunting accident and was paraylzed. He continued to hunt and fish even from a wheelchair.

Ralph was admired for his artistic talents and mechanical inclinations to repair and build most anything. He was like a genius child, reading and learning from a household encyclopedia set.

Ralph was preceded in death by his father, Cecilio Garza Sr.

Ralph is survived by his daughter Cecilia C. Garza; his mother, Rebecca Garza; siblings, Rebeca A. Garza, Maria I. Garza, Ana M. and Dennis Zamora, Cecilio Garza, Jr., Daniel Garza, Benjamin and Lauren Garza, and Blanca E. Garza; many aunts and uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews and many friends. He will be missed dearly.

A private service will take place with close family and friends, given the current restrictions on large gatherings. Thoughts, prayers, phone calls and texts are appreciated and welcome. A celebration of life to be arranged for a date later in the year.

The Garza family would appreciate any considerations for donations to the following GoFundMe account to help with funeral expenses. https://www.gofundme.com/f/rafael-garza-family?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link-tip&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet

Please visit www.lakeshorememorial.com for further information.


  • Memorial Visitation Monday, March 23, 2020


Rafael Garza

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Ronnie Vera

March 22, 2020

Oh how sad I am to hear of this news. To the Garza family, my sorrow for you for your loss and prayers. Especially to your mother and your precious daughter. Ralph and I never got to have that wrestling match during that neighborhood water balloon war.. thank God.. he would’ve embarrassed me.. Jr., Danny(Chumsy) and Benji know what I’m talking about.. All the football games with Saul and Abel, the sand lot baseball, football, kickball games.. now Ralph and Saul are up there in heaven planning up the next child fun adventures for the Neighborhood crew when it’s our time.. see you soon Ralph..

Kristin King

March 21, 2020

I’ll always remember the fun times we had cruising the Allegan woods in his big red truck. We missed him when he moved to Alaska but it was amazing to see pictures of the enormous crabs. He truly loved the outdoors, and will be dearly missed by many. My thoughts and prayers are with his family during this time.

Rachel Marroquin

March 21, 2020

Ralf was such a good guy i remember in E.E.fell we would run threw the hall ways messing around with mr.timmer. he will be missed by many. Never for gotten. No more pain bud

Bernice Metcalf

March 21, 2020

Rafael spent a weekend with us in Ketchikan one fall. We took him around to all the local potlucks happening throughout those days including a company end of season party. We showed him how to eat well at no cost! He really enjoyed cracking crab on out on the deck of George Inlet Lodge while all the out-of-towners sat at the table and used crab crackers and hammers!
He was an Alaskan to us!
Before he left to Michigan he said “Man, I need to come stay with you guys more often.”

Louis Gonzales

March 20, 2020

I met Ralph in seventh grade. He and his family became friends to my family through the years. I have always enjoyed photography and art. Ralph was a true artist. You will be missed my friend. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers. R.I.P.

Margo Hakeem Zeedyk

March 20, 2020

Dear Garza Family, I remember the excitement of all of you the day we brought the encyclopedias to your home. All of you shared Ralph’s thirst for knowledge. Please know that I am praying for your family as you remember the times you all shared.
Margo Hakken Zeedyk

Debbie Sosa - Enriquez

March 19, 2020

The special memories I have about Ralph one was friendship since Lincoln School days !! also mornings he would walk all the way to my house with Brian TenHagen and walk with me to the bus stop those were the days ! walking me home after I marched for Tulip Time he would carry my instrument always a gentleman an amazing friend as we got older lost track of one another but just that you know Ralph you were always so sweet caring and over all respectful see you on the other side God haves truly gained an Angel ! Love and Prayers to the Garza Family may God wrap his arms around you all❣️

Alex Silva

March 19, 2020

Man...love this brother, FOOTBALL an WRESTLING...an all around good man an friend...R.I.P BROTHER YOU WILL BE SURELY MISSED!!