Meliton Moroni Garcia, 86, of Idaho Falls, died January 21, 2022, surrounded by his wife, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, at his home.
Meliton “Mel” was born April 24, 1935, in Taos, New Mexico, to Cristobal R. Garcia and Celina Archuleta, with stepmother, Amelia Vigil. He grew up in Taos and attended schools in the area.
After high school, he married his sweetheart, Clara Sandoval. His college education was at New Mexico Institute of Mining. He worked as a mining engineer in Arizona before moving his family to UC Berkeley where he received his Master’s Degree in Public Health. He moved his family to Bellevue, Washington, to work at Boeing as an Industrial Hygienist. He advanced his career by working in the oil and mining industry through the Midwest. Part of his career was teaching mining health and safety at the University of Arizona for eight years. He retired as an Industrial Hygienist at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory.
Mel was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints all his life. He was an avid reader and had numerous callings in the church to include a ward clerk, high councilor, scout leader, Sunday School teacher, and served five years as Bishop. He and Clara also served in the Idaho Falls Temple for 16 years and were excited to go on a Service Mission to Laie, Hawaii, in 1996-97.
Mel had a love of music, he taught himself to play the guitar and harmonica in his youth and continued playing throughout his life for family and friends. Because he loved mining engineering, he had a large collection of rocks and he shared this love with his children and grandchildren. Mel’s greatest devotion was that of his beautiful wife and family. The legacy of an extraordinary patriarch will be passed down for generations and to countless numbers of those he served, taught, and loved.
Mel is survived by his loving wife, Clara Garcia of Idaho Falls; his children, Anna M. (Ron) Thinnes, Daniel T. Garcia, Frances “Frannie” P. (Brett) Gardner-Bell, Juan F. (Erica) Garcia; daughter-in-law, Elizabeth E. Garcia; 21 grandchildren, 48 great grandchildren, and one great-great granddaughter.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a daughter, Maria Elena Garcia; and son, Meliton Orlando Garcia.
We want to acknowledge the tender service of the Aspen Home Health and Hospice caregivers.
Funeral services were held Saturday, January 29.