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Pedro Enrique Garcia, Jr.

November 28, 1946 July 20, 2019
Pedro Enrique Garcia, Jr.
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Obituary for Pedro Enrique Garcia, Jr.

Dr. Pedro Garcia, age 72, of Clarinda, Iowa entered into peace Saturday, July 20, 2019 at his residence rural Clarinda, Iowa. Funeral Celebration of Life Services will be held 10:30 AM Friday, July 26, 2019 at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Clarinda, Iowa with Reverend Jay Cline officiating. Visitation will be held Thursday at Ritchie Funeral Home, Clarinda, Iowa from 5 to 7 PM with the family greeting friends. Interment will be held at the Clarinda Cemetery, Clarinda, Iowa. Memorials may be directed to Westminster Presbyterian Church, Clarinda, Iowa. Memories and condolences may be shared with the family on our website at, under Obituaries. Arrangements were entrusted to the Ritchie Funeral Home of Clarinda, Iowa, where we ‘Celebrate Life’.

Dr. Pedro Enrique Garcia, Jr.
November 28, 1946 - July 20, 2019
Pedro Enrique Garcia, Jr. was born in Camagüey, Cuba on November 28, 1946, to Pedro and
Maria Eugenia Garcia. He was an active child and loved sports, especially baseball. After
Communism struck Cuba in 1959, Pedro and his younger brother, Juan, came to the US in
1962. Upon their arrival to the Miami Airport, they saw an exit sign, which they immediately
associated with success because in Spanish “exito” means success, so they followed the sign.
They remained in a refugee camp in Kendal, Florida for three months until their mother arrived.
Pedro was only 15.
Pedro’s mother was offered a teaching job in Clarinda, Iowa. Pedro’s father was exiled in Spain
at the time and was finally reunited with his family in Iowa. Upon their arrival in Clarinda, Pedro
Jr. experienced snow for the first time. Clarinda High School is where it all began for Pedro. He
learned English quickly, and during his sophomore year, now at age 16, he met his future wife,
Bev Tomlinson, in a study hall. Bill Richardson, Ron Davis, Bob Mazawa, and many others
became Pedro’s lifelong friends.
During his senior year at the University of Kansas, Bev and Pedro were married. They moved to
Los Angeles and then to the San Diego area where Pedro began teaching Spanish at Poway
High School. They were married from 1968-78, and had two children, Hydee and Eric.
Pedro’s love for the freedom and opportunities the US provided, encouraged him to manifest
his own American Dream. He received a Master’s degree from San Diego State and his
doctorate in Education Administration from the University of Southern California.
In 1984, he met Priscilla Partridge and were quickly married. Together with her three children,
Heather, Heidi, and Blaze, were now united for the first time with Pedro’s two children in
Camarillo, California. The family enjoyed going to USC football games. Pedro’s attendance for
never missing a USC home game stretched over forty years.
He worked his way to the top of his profession, and became one of the most dynamic
superintendents in California and Tennessee. He went from one district to the next, with each
one carrying more responsibility and size than its predecessor.
Years after the children became adults, Pedro moved to Nashville, Tennessee where he
became the Superintendent of Nashville Public Schools for seven years. He also served on
many boards, and in 2003, was personally chosen by George W. Bush to be on the Presidential
Commission on Service and Community Participation. In 2007, The Franklin Covey Corporation
recognized him with their National Leadership Award.
Upon his return to California, Pedro landed his dream job at his Alma Mater, USC, in Los
Angeles. Being a professor and mentoring doctoral students of the Rossier School of
Education was a blessing to him. Pedro’s health concerns resulted in his early retirement from
USC. His homecoming to Clarinda came in late 2017.
Pedro was not only an inspirational educator, prolific writer, creative photographer, self-appointed movie critic, founding member of the Antifinks, master joke teller, beloved mentor,
loyal friend, and excellent provider for his family but most of all, he was a devoted follower of
Jesus Christ. He led Bible studies in both California and Iowa. He believed that the meaning of
life was to glorify God.
May his soul rest in peace with the Lord.
He is preceded in death by his wife Priscilla, along with his father, Pedro, and mother, Maria
Left to cherish his memory are his step-mother, Wanda Garcia of Clarinda; brother, Juan Garcia (Millie); the five children, Heather Livingston (Rory), Heidi Johnsen (Ross), Hydee Tehana (Lisa), Eric Garcia-March; grandchildren, Ashleigh Gentry (Paul), Brittany Long (Bart), Chance (Alexandria), Hope and Georgia Peach Johnsen, Tommy and Alex Dullam, Callie, Ryan and Brady Holbert, Chloe, Evangeline, Magnus and Adelaide Garcia; and many, many friends.

Previous Events





5:00 PM 7/25/2019 5:00:00 PM - 7:00 PM 7/25/2019 7:00:00 PM
Ritchie Funeral Home - Clarinda

222 East Washington
Clarinda, IA 51632

Ritchie Funeral Home - Clarinda
222 East Washington Clarinda 51632 IA
United States

Funeral Service




10:30 AM 7/26/2019 10:30:00 AM
Westminster Presbyterian Church

Clarinda, IA 51632

Westminster Presbyterian Church
Clarinda 51632 IA
United States





11:30 AM 7/26/2019 11:30:00 AM
Clarinda Cemetery

Clarinda, IA 51632

Clarinda Cemetery
Clarinda 51632 IA
United States

Memorial Contribution

Westminster Presbyterian Church

Clarinda, IA 51632

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