By: Zachary Lopez (ZachNews):
Needles, California: Joseph Garcia, great volunteer and friend to the community, has passed away following a medical emergency at Nikki Bunch Memorial Field in Needles, California.
Joseph Garcia, also known by many in the community as “Jose Garcia,” “Joe” and “JoJo”, was a great volunteer to the community.
Joseph Garcia was a hard working dedicated volunteer to his community, always would be there to help a friend when they’re down and give his shirt off his back to help those in need.
From volunteering helping his community at the food pantry at St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Shop to helping set up for community events with a needles Chamber of Commerce, Joseph Garcia was there to answer the call to help his community.
Joseph Garcia would volunteered at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner events at Saint Anne’s Catholic Church in Downtown Needles, California, helping to provide hot holiday meals to anybody in need of a delicious hot dinner.
Joseph Garcia volunteered in many youth sports, including coaching, scorekeeper and being the umpire at kids softball, baseball and flag football games at the Needles Recreation Center; being there to giving the kids a chance to learn a new sport and how to be a good person in our community.
Jennifer Valenzuela, Needles Recreation Center, and kids all gave thanks to Joseph Garcia for his years of volunteer work during flag football games on on Tuesday, November 21st, 2017 at Nikki Bunch Memorial Field in Needles, California.
In 2018, Joe received the San Bernardino County Diocese 2018 Guadalupe Award.
On Saturday, October 6th, 2018, received “Volunteer of the Year” award during the Needles Chamber of Commerce Awards Dinner in Needles, California.
On Tuesday, December 11th, 2018, Joseph Garcia received a plaque from the City of Needles during the Needles City Council Meeting in Needles, California for volunteering thirty plus years with youth sports.
Joseph Garcia was seen helping volunteers load food donated from the National Association of Letter Carriers’ 27th Annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive on Saturday, May 11th, 2019.
Joseph Garcia also volunteered during the Colorado River Round Up Rodeo in Needles, California, and worked at Saint Anne’s Catholic Church in Downtown Needles, California during mass and services.
Joseph Garcia enjoyed playing pool and darts with friends at Red Dog Saloon in Downtown Needles, California, and eating shredded beef enchiladas and cheese quesadillas from Munchy’s restaurant in Downtown Needles, California.
Joseph Garcia also volunteered as a member of the chain crew during home games from the Needles Mustangs at Needles High School.
Joseph Garcia had many friends throughout the community, including ZachNews Photojournalist Zachary Lopez.
“Joe and I became friends Joe about 11 years ago well volunteering at the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store. Joe and I would joke around and talk about what’s happening in our community, as well as talk about what we would like to see happen good to our community. Joe and I would hang out at Munchy’s restaurant, talking about our day and local sports, especially talked about coaching on the basketball team at the Needles Recreation Center and working along the field during the Needles Mustangs home games. Joe was loved by all who spotted him, Joe smiled and people feel happy to see Joe if it’s at a restaurant, at the thrift store or at a Needles Mustangs home game, Joe was that kind of a good person, if you were sad you’re be cheered up by Joe,” said Zachary Lopez with ZachNews.
Joseph Garcia was volunteering at a flag football game and award ceremony at Nikki Bunch Memorial Field.
“I saw Joe walk by me, he waved hello and I waved hello back as I was taking pictures and videos for an upcoming news story. That was the last time I saw my friend Joe,” said Zachary Lopez with ZachNews.
Joseph Garcia was rushed to Colorado River Medical Center in Needles, California after he reportedly collapsed in the restroom area at Nikki Bunch Memorial Field.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) were done onto him as Baker Emergency Medical Services arrived to transport him to Colorado River Medical Center in Needles, California where he later passed away.
The lost of Joseph Garcia came to a shock to his close friends who gathered outside of the Colorado River Medical Center, tears where seen by everybody there.
“Tonight, our community has lost a great friend and volunteer in our community,” Zachary Lopez with ZachNews said. “Joe loved our community so much; always ready to help anybody who needs help. Joe cared so much for the youth in our community; always teaching kids to be a good person, to practice responsibly in sports and have good sportsmanship during games, and be there for moral advice so kids can grow up to be responsible and respectful in school, at home and when they’re adults later in life. Thank you Joe for all you have done for our community, and for the great years of friendship you gave to all. Our community will miss you, and will never forget all the good you have done to our community Joe.”
** Pictures from ZachNews: **