Elizabeth Ann “Liz” Garcia, 67, of Topeka, was reunited with her loved ones in heaven on November 8, 2020. Liz was able to leave this world in the comfort of her home surrounded by family and friends that cared for her with great love and compassion.
John R. and Teresa (Delgado) Gomez were blessed with eight children with Liz being the fifth child born on March 31, 1953. Liz graduated from OLG School in 1968 and from Hayden High School in 1971. She was a member of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church and the Altar Society. Liz retired from Westar Energy in 2010 with 30 years of service.
At a young age, Liz’s parents instilled in her the importance of volunteering and making a difference. Her first and longest volunteer opportunity was volunteering with the Fiesta Mexicana. Liz also served on the Board of Directors for Living the Dream Inc of Topeka, which honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s legacy through various programs, scholarships and activities. She was a Brownie Leader and Girl Scout Leader for OLG and Topeka Collegiate. Together, Liz and Joe were involved for many years with Boy Scout Troops #13 and #25. Their son earned his Eagle Scout and Liz received the Pelican Award from the Archdiocese for her contribution to scouting. Liz was also a volleyball coach for OLG, Topeka Collegiate, Topeka Parks & Rec and Club Volleyball. Still to this day, many of her players can remember her infamous coaching style and can remember her saying…“SIT ON THE WALL, GIVE ME SOME LAPS, DON’T LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT!” Through many great memories and with Liz’s encouragement, many have her to thank for their determination and resiliency.
Another passion of Liz’s was cooking Mexican food and was fondly known as the “Enchilada lady” aka “Crack-a-lada lady”. Liz attributed her culinary skills and abilities by staying true to her mother’s teaching; cook with love and never take short cuts. Liz was notorious for helping everyone. She loved planning and was responsible for many successful Fiesta and LULAC candidate campaigns which raised a substantial amount of funding. Through the various fundraisers, she made many new friendships that continued for many years. She loved family gatherings and looked forward to them, as she felt they were important to grow and keep the family bond strong. She also enjoyed playing Bingo, crafts, making wedding floral arrangements, wreaths, and especially loved spending time with her grandchildren.
She was blessed with over 40 years with her beloved husband Joseph “Joe” Garcia and they married on December 24, 1995. She is survived by two sons; Scott and Angelo Garcia and two daughters; Joann (Andre) Vucajnk and Julia Garcia. Anyone who knew Liz, knew her greatest pride and joys were her seven grandchildren; Cesario, Joseph, Maya, Nevaeh, Bryce, Milla, and Angela. Other survivors include her four brothers; Robert (Angie), John Jr., David (Dee), and Paul Gomez along with three sisters; Olivia (Ron) Johnson, Kathy Miranda and Patricia Baker (Wil Ramirez), all of Topeka. Liz considered it an honor to be an aunt and she gave unconditional love to many nieces and nephews. Even though Liz had several nieces and nephews, she made sure to include their friends and her children’s friends as part of her extended family. Liz especially cherished the many fond and lasting friendships, the ones that began as a young girl to the friends she made during her last days with Midland Hospice. Thank you to all for being such an important part of Liz’s life.
Liz will lie in state at the Brennan-Mathena Funeral Home on Thursday after 2:00 p.m. where her family will receive friends from 4:00-8:00 p.m. and an Altar Society Rosary will be prayed at 6 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday at 11:00 a.m. at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church. Cremation will follow with inurnment on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. at Mt. Calvary Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made in her memory to the Vietnam Veterans of America #604 and sent in care of Brennan-Mathena Funeral Home, 800 SW 6th Ave., Topeka, Kansas 66603.
Online condolences and fond memories may be left at www.brennanmathenafh.com