Louis Garnica Profile Photo
1930 Louis 2024

Louis Garnica

March 4, 1930 — April 4, 2024

Louis Lopez Garnica, beloved father, grandfather and great-grandfather, passed away
the morning of Thursday, April 4, 2024, at his home in Fillmore, California,
surrounded by family members. He had recently been hospitalized for end stage
renal disease and serious infections and had just celebrated his 94th birthday on
March 4. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Viola Riesgo Garnica, who
passed away in 2012.


Visitation will be held on Monday, April 15, 2024, from 1 pm to 8 pm, with recitation
of the Rosary at 7pm, at Perez Family Funeral Home, 600 N. Central Ave., Fillmore.
Mass celebrating Louis' 94 years of life will be held at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic
Church, 1048 West Ventura Street in Fillmore at 10 am on Tuesday, April 16, 2024.
Graveside services will follow at Bardsdale Cemetery.


Louis Lopez Garnica was born on March 4, 1930, delivered at home to his parents
Luis and Catalina Soto Garnica. The oldest of the Garnica children, Louis was a
protective big brother to sister Katie Garnica Ramirez and younger brother George
Garnica, who passed away in 2021. The three Garnica children grew up on Clay
Street in Fillmore as their parents worked in Santa Clara Valley's agricultural
industry. When Luis Sr. became ill and was hospitalized in a tuberculosis sanitarium
out of state, mother Catalina and grandmother Maria raised the three children, who
attended Fillmore School District schools during the Depression and WWII. Father
Luis recovered and returned to Ventura County, re-trained as a watch repairman and
working at Johnsons' jewelry store in Ventura, when tragedy struck in 1945 and
Louis' mother Catalina died after a brief illness. Despite his loss, young Louis
excelled in high school subjects like mathematics, science, literature and polishing
his cursive handwriting skills into a beautiful signature noted by many. Louis earned
his athletics letter in basketball, football and baseball at Fillmore High School and as
1948 Senior Class President delivered the graduation speech. Louis enlisted in the
U.S. Army in November 1948 and after basic training at Fort Ord in Monterey County,
he was stationed at Camp Lee in Virginia until he was received orders and traveled
across the Pacific Ocean to be stationed in Tokyo, Japan, serving from March 1949 to
July 1951 during the postwar American occupation under the administration of U.S.
General Douglas MacArthur. Louis recalled he witnessed Gen. MacArthur arriving at
the Dai Ichi headquarters almost daily, right up until the Korean conflict broke out in
June 1950. After serving for three years in Army administration, Louis was
honorably discharged at Camp Stoneman, California, on Aug. 5, 1951.
When he returned home in 1951, Louis lived in Los Angeles and enrolled in the
National Schools occupational training program, under the GI Bill, hoping to find
work as a mechanic. However, Louis had already begun corresponding with Viola
Riesgo, his next door neighbor in Fillmore and the two became engaged in 1953,
marrying in 1955 and living for a time in South Los Angeles. The young couple
relocated to Fillmore where they started their family and raised three daughters,
Catherine (Garnica), Luanne (Schaper) and Debra (Louth).
Louis was a true "girl dad," supporting his daughters' aspirations to attend college
after graduating from Fillmore High School. He proudly attended their respective
college graduations from Pepperdine University, Seaver College, in Malibu,
California in 1978, 1979 and 1982. Louis was especially proud that all five of his
grandchildren graduated from the University of California and California State
University colleges, reflecting Louis' belief in the value of higher education.
Louis worked for the Fillmore School District as a janitor, bus driver and grounds
worker before he became a bus driver for Newbury Park High when it was still part
of the Oxnard High School District. While Viola began working for the Fashion
Development (Olga) Corporation at the Fillmore plant, Louis eventually found
employment in the early 1970s as a utility worker then a quality control technician
with the Diamond Shamrock Corp., in the Ormond Beach section of Oxnard, which
produced polyurethane, and polyester resin for various fiberglass products. Louis
commuted to Oxnard for more than 25 years as the company merged and changed
names to Koppers Inc., and Reichold Corp. He retired when his youngest
granddaughter, Megan Louth (Kullback), was born and he and wife Viola lovingly
provided childcare for their five grandchildren.
Louis and Viola happily switched to grandparent gear and took the grandchildren on
many adventures and vacations. They were also avid grandparent volunteers for
youth track, and took on chuck wagon duties for band competitions. Louis was a
swim meet timer, and a 4-H Club supporter. They attended every race, concert,
competition, performance, and awards ceremony for each grandchild that they
could.


As the grandkids grew, Louis and Viola helped to fundraise for the new St. Francis of
Assisi Church located on Highway 126, which just happened to be built adjacent to C
Street in Fillmore where Louis' family continued to remodel and enlarge their family
home in the Los Serenos neighborhood. Louis and Viola co chaired the St. Francis
Church fundraiser fireworks booth for 16 years with the help of family and friends.
Louis and Viola also made countless friends as members of the St. Francis Church-
affiliated Los Padrinos and Los Caballeros organizations. When not working for the
church, Louis and Viola joined their cousin Rosie and husband Richard Gallardo on
road trips as they traveled along the historic "Route 66" highways through Nevada,
Arizona, Colorado and South Dakota, visiting the Grand Canyon, San Antonio, Texas,
and Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial. The couples also enjoyed
attending various mariachi festivals in Arizona, New Mexico and Las Vegas. If they
came upon casinos in their travels that was added fun.


Louis was a dedicated L.A. Dodgers' fan, attending games in the L.A. Coliseum when
the team first relocated to the West Coast in 1958. A bowler who played in company
leagues, he also enjoyed golf and tennis. For relaxing times, he enjoyed kicking back
with a glass of wine in the backyard spa while enjoying good music. A longtime fan
of pop hits and Latin jazz, he took his family to concerts featuring Stan Getz, Julio
Iglesias, Marco Antonio Solis, Andrea Bocelli and Chris Botti.
Louis and his beloved wife Viola enjoyed 57 years of marriage before she died in
2012. He is survived by his sister Katie Ramirez of Fillmore and sister-in-law
Eleanor Vargas of Fillmore; daughters Catherine Garnica of Fillmore, Luanne and
son-in-law John Schaper of Simi Valley and Debra and son-in-law Kevin Louth of
Fillmore. He is also survived by grandchildren William Louis Schaper (wife Sarah) of
Brooklyn, NYC, Marie Schaper Zanderson (husband Sean) of Encinitas; Karen Louth
Churchill (husband Ross) of Valencia, James Thomas Schaper (wife Allison) of
Ventura, and Megan Louth Kullback (husband Kevin) of Saugus. In 2022 Megan and
husband Kevin presented Louis with his first great-grandson, Kooper Louis
Kullback.


Louis is survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins, godsons and goddaughters and
friends.


Services are under the direction of the Perez Family Funeral Home of Fillmore.
Flower arrangements are welcome and memorial donations in Louis Garnica's name
may be made to the Fillmore High School Alumni Association.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Louis Garnica, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Monday, April 15, 2024

3:00 - 8:00 pm (Pacific time)

PEREZ FAMILY FUNERAL HOME-FILLMORE

600 Central Avenue, Fillmore, CA 93015

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Rosary

Monday, April 15, 2024

6:00 - 7:00 pm (Pacific time)

PEREZ FAMILY FUNERAL HOME-FILLMORE

600 Central Avenue, Fillmore, CA 93015

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Mass

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Pacific time)

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Burial

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Pacific time)

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