Art Garcia was the kind of community activist who will be remembered because he was different from the rest.
The table does not exist that he pounded.
His way was soft-spoken persuasion.
In his later years, he would slip anonymously into a community meeting, and newcomers never would have guessed his identity.
Perhaps above all values, Art Garcia was a kindly man. Toward the end of his life when health problems stalked him, his unflappable demeanor never budged. Unwavering kindness was his calling card.
Mr. Garcia died in Culver City on Feb. 2. He was 84 years old.
Formerly a San Bernardino resident, his funeral was at Bobbitt Memorial Chapel, and he was buried in Pioneer Cemetery, both in San Bernardino.
A track star at USC in his undergraduate days, Mr. Garcia was co-captain of the Trojans’ 1952 national championship team.
Mr. Garcia, the Trojans reported, was a distance runner who specialized in the mile and two-mile races. He won the Pacific Coast Conference championship in the mile with a time of 4:12.5 in 1952.
Mr. Garcia was the captain of the 1951 USC cross country team which won the school’s first-ever conference title. He went undefeated that season, winning the PCC and the Southern Pacific AAU cross country titles.
Known for his leadership, work ethic and tremendous competitive spirit, Mr. Garcia became a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps and a successful business man. He served on numerous boards. Mr. Garcia was vice-president of the Trojan Force and volunteered at USC home track and field meets.
For 30 years, Mr. Garcia sat on the board of the Fox Hills Neighborhood Assn.
“He was a quiet man who gave much time and passion towards community improvement and awareness- building with our Fox Hills neighbors,” said Paula Keating, Association president.
“In later years when he wasn’t well, Art never let that get in the way of his involvement.
“Art showed up to our Park Clean Up Days, to our Culver City High School Scholarship events, to our Community Forums and a myriad of other community events. Over the years, he was a key force in the commercial real estate industry and to his alma mater, USC.
“We admired him greatly.” Ms. Keating said. “We never will forget his silence at our meetings, only to be followed by having the most insightful idea of the evening.
We cherished his quiet devotion to FHNA and to Fox Hills.”