March 29, 1922 ~ November 24, 2007
Eustacia Garcia was born Eustacia Gonzales, the sixth of seven children, on March 29, 1922 in Riverside , CA . Her parents were Ysidro Gonzales and Juana Avina Gonzales from Zacatecas, Mexico. Orphaned at the age of 9 after her mother and then her father passed away within a matter of months, Eustacia, a precocious, small-framed little girl would eventually blossom into the generous and fiercely loving matriarch of four generations of children, thus far. Her childhood was not easy. After her parentsâ€™ deaths, Eustacia and her younger brother Antonio were taken into their older sister Doraâ€™s home in Boyle Heights where Dora arranged for little Tracy (a nickname given to her by Anglo school teachers who had trouble pronouncing her real name) and Tony to work odd jobs to help earn their keep. At the same time, she attended Soto Street elementary school and later Lincoln High School.
Eustaciaâ€™s love of life and music prompted her to learn to sing and play the guitar. She performed with her sister in local shows and on live radio. While still a student in high school, Eustacia met Frank Racho at a live music show. They later married and had five children: Frances, Irene, Gloria, Susan and Bobby (deceased). At the age of 16, Mother Tracy had her first child, Frances, while living on a farm in Culver City, CA . She once remarked that she could look out of her window and see nothing but rows upon rows of vegetables. Eustacia said that her pregnancy there was a lonely time for her, but when her new baby Frances arrived, she brought her great joy. Eventually, Eustacia and Frank leased and ran their own farm in Carson, CA . Shortly after giving birth to Bobby, their fifth child, Eustacia separated from Frank and later filed for divorce.
As her daughters later began families of their own, Eustacia continued to raise her youngest children as a single parent until they finished high school. She made education a high priority and was exceedingly proud of the fact that all of her children were high school graduates. In 1967, Eustacia met her soon-to-be second husband, Genaro â€œGeeâ€ Garcia, with whom she would live out the rest of her life. â€œGeeâ€ and Grandmother Tracy married in Las Vegas, settled down and bought a home in Gardena, CA where children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren would find love, support, comfort, celebration and occasionally, a hand of her favorite gameâ€” deuces wild. She loved listening to music, dancing, a great conversation, coconut-pineapple soft serve, pine nuts, gardening, the fragrance of roses and gardenias, taking semi-annual trips to Reno, and ran her household like clockwork. She wore leadership like a fine fitted coatâ€¦ it was made for her and she looked fabulous in it.
Eustacia, a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, great-great-grandmother lived a rich and varied life filled with immense joy, deep sorrows and everything in between. Hers was a truly exemplary life of love, bravery, generosity, and compassion. She left us at the age of 85 during the early morning hours of Saturday, November 24, 2007. And there will never be another like her.
Eustacia â€œTracyâ€ Gonzales Garcia is survived by her husband Genaro â€œGeeâ€ Garcia; daughters: Frances Racho Gallego, Irene Racho, Gloria Racho Sanchez, Susan Racho; grandchildren: Steve Gallego, Gilbert Gallego, David Gallego, Cathy Espinoza, John Gallego, Larry Gallego, Julie Ontiveros, Richard Ontiveros, Jr., Glenn Ontiveros, Angel Castaloni, Monica L. Lopez; great-grandchildren: Lisa Gallego, Serena Gallego, Theresa Gallego, Steven Gallego, Karina Gallego, Gina Gallego, Gilbert Gallego, Jr., Jennifer Gallego, Jamie Espinoza, Anthony Espinoza, Joseph Hicks, Jr., Christina Guerrero, Robert Guerrero, Diana Ontiveros, Richard Ontiveros, III, Nicolas Ontiveros, Jessica Gonzales; great-great grandchildren: James Williams, Jazmyn Williams, Travian Guerrero, Adrien Lara, Kashmir Perez, Sienna Perez, Kimora Perez, Melissa Retana, Isaac Retana, Benny Rodriguez, Izaiah Garcia, Joseph Hicks, III, Jasmine Guest Hicks.
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