Diego Orlando Garcia

November 10, 1962 - September 05, 2020

Obituary for Diego Orlando Garcia

On the morning of Saturday, September 5, 2020 Diego Orlando Garcia passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in his Wake Forest home of heart failure. He was 57 years old.

Born November 10, 1962 in Montevideo, Uruguay, Diego served for 21 years in the United States Navy, first as a corpsman, and later, at time of retirement, as a master diver, having earned the rank of chief through two decades of distinguished service.

Diego would go on to continue to distinguish himself in his work in the private IT sector, serving the U.S. government and public agencies. He was a well-known, loved, and depended-on figure in his professional life.

Diego was an avid fan of the New York Mets and New York Giants professional sports teams, and an accomplished runner and cyclist. Just 2 years ago he finished 84th among a field of 266 finishers in the Umstead 100 (100 mile) ultramarathon. He would challenge himself physically throughout his life, never accepting any limitations to what he could accomplish, and inspiring those around him to do more. Together with his wife of 38 years, Janice Garcia, he was an animal-lover, with two dogs, two cats, and 21 chickens all raised and loved in their Wake Forest home.

He is survived by his wife, Janice; his son, Francis; his daughter-in-law, Katie; and his granddaughter, Guinevere. He also leaves behind his mother, Sonnia; his two brothers, Alfredo and Daniel; and his sister, Sonnia.

A viewing and memorial service will be held starting at 5:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, September 10,2020 at Renaissance Funeral Home, 7615 Six Forks Rd, Raleigh, NC 27615. Friends and family are welcome to come listen to and share memories of Diego, and to say goodbye. Please be prepared to bring and wear masks for the duration of the services.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society or the American Heart Association.

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My deepest sympathy, I'm so sorry for your loss. "I can not possibly imagine what you feel right now, let me know if there is anything I can do to ease your pain at this difficult period." Diego was always laughing and smiling anytime we had our encounters. For my Family and I, laughter and smiling will always be what we remember of Diego and hope everyone all also remembers how lucky we all our to be able to experience the ultimate unconditional love!! Love, Dawn, Chip, Kayla, Madison, Cayden, snd Puppy Dawn,
- Dawn Newell
It was with great sadness that I received the news of Diego's passing. Diego and his siblings, Daniel Garcia and Sonia Fenton, were some of the first friends I made in this country when I first arrived in 1979. Until the mid 80's, we share unforgettable moments in a social club where all Uruguayans gathered at the time: The Club Social Montevideo Uruguay, in Newark, NJ. A great bunch of young men and women from Uruguay, Argentina and other communities met there and forged incredible and long-lasting friendships. Many of the friendships built on those days, are still going strong in the present. We've all participated and danced together our native dances and music in order to perpetuate our tradition and heritage. Diego shone brighter then everybody else at this. He was a gifted dancer and was a great asset for the group. We worked together in our first crappy job, played soccer in the same team and faced the crazy 80's together: The New York scene, the Jersey Shore, Disco, bell bottom jeans, crazy mullets, the works! Years went by and life took us all thru different paths. Diego left New Jersey and joined the Navy to become a man. And so he did. He succeeded and spent many years in the service. Many years later, we had a reunion of our old group and reconnected. We found each other married and with kids. He was much older with a lot less hair but was the same old Diego. That was on 2013. This week I found out that Diego, although very healthy and fit, passed away suddenly at the ripe young age of 57. Some things are hard to comprehend. He's another friend that leaves us too soon. However the shared moments and the memories will remain and won't be forgotten. RIP Diego...
- Ricardo Uriarte
I have known Diego professionally for quite some time. I thought highly of Diego as did everyone I know. Diego was always ready and willing to help with any issues that arose. I have been fortunate to meet Diego and share some friendship. I was very saddened to hear of his passing. I offer my heartfelt condolences to his family and hope that knowing he will be missed by so many may give you some comfort in the coming days. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.
- Mike Headen
I had the privilege of working for Diego for many years. He was an incredible leader and mentor to me. He helped to guide me in my career, gave me sound advice when I felt like I was lacking direction and needed a push, but more than that he was a shoulder to cry on when I had some scary health issues going on. Some of my best memories of him included having dinner with him and Marcie when he came to San Diego for a conference, and later playing the table-top game Zombicide together, laughing and having a great time. My heart breaks for his family. He spoke so highly of them, and with so much love and pride. We meet people on our path that touch our lives and leave a mark, and Diego was one of those people for me. He will be missed.
- Amanda Behnke
I am saddened beyond words to hear of the passing of Diego and cannot imagine the enormous loss for his family, my thoughts and prayers are with you. Diego was my boss and mentor for nearly 10 years on NMCI. I am so thankful for all the help, encouragement, and knowledge he passed on. Everything he did was at the highest level with honor and integrity, qualities that are far too rare in today's business world. Every person that Diego touched was the better for having known him, I certainly am. I am thankful for the time I had to spend with him in person on several business trips, a rare opportunity in today's remote work world. But I am the most thankful for the times when we met that was not work related and became friends. I was able to meet his wonderful wife, Janice, when we met in Hagerstown a few years back. My wife and I had dinner with them before one of his many marathons. The last time I saw him in February we met for dinner in Rockville but covid made metro travel difficult so we were not able to do it again. I will always remember the stories of his leonberger (a huge dog), chickens, and the Navy, but most of all what he cared about most, his family. Although he leaves a void in all our lives the heavens are a little brighter with Diego's presence.
- Joe Hovatter
I worked with Diego for many years and grew to appreciate him as a friend, a co-worker, and a person. He was always there when I needed him, always helpful, and someone I considered my friend. When I left the Navy account we both had been working on I tried to find a way to have him work with me again on the County of San Diego account, I knew that he would never relocate away from his family, and try as I might I couldn't make the situation work for the both of us. I would have walked through fire for him, I would have done anything he ever asked or needed, that is how strongly I felt about him. I was so happy to hear about the opportunity he was given, or rather earned, to work on the United States Senate account. I followed his success from afar. I spoke to him recently when I had overheard our company leaders speaking about him and what he has been able to accomplish. I wanted to make sure he knew what people were saying about him. None of which was a surprise to me. And as always, he was appreciative of the news and very humble when we spoke. I am who I am now partly due to my time working with Diego. He shared stories with me about his family, his dogs, and his chickens. He will always be in my memory, and his family will be in my prayers. Diego meant a lot to so many people. He was one of a kind, someone you only run into once in your life. Rest In Peace my friend Diego.
- Brian Hammond
Francis, You are in our hearts during this difficult time as you grieve the loss of your Dad. Please know that your Technical Consultant colleagues are thinking of you and praying for you and your family. Chris B., Steve G., David J., Bill R., Rob S., Fernando V., and Evelyn F.
When I started at EDS in 2004, Diego was part of the Site teams I supported administratively. He was without a doubt one of the most genuine and kindest people I had the pleasure to work with. As his career progressed, we continued to cross paths and each time he had a reason to visit Norfolk, I had the opportunity to enjoy his company. I feel very lucky that he was my manager for a short period of time and that I can call him a friend. I know I speak for many people when I say that he will be sorely missed. My sympathy and prayers go out to his family. In time, the memories you cherish will help ease the pain. Take care and God Bless.
- Ruth Maute
We are so saddened to hear about Diego's sudden passing. He was a wonderful human being, and one of the most inspirational people I have known. I met Diego through work, but over the years considered him a friend. He always had a funny story about his dog or his chickens, and his ready laugh will be in our hearts forever. Our sincere condolences to his entire family, may you find peace in knowing how he touched the lives of so many.
- Coleen Huff
I am so sorry to hear about your families huge loss. Diego was a great man and I admired him over the years working with him on the Navy contract. He was always approachable and supportive to all of us. He will be greatly missed by all of us. I wish there were something we could say to help with the pain but know that he lives on in each of us though our memories of him.
- Chris Boston
So sorry to hear about Diego passing all too soon. We worked together over the past few years on various accounts, he was always a great guy to work with. He was passionate about the work and his people. My dearest condolences to his family and all who's lives he impacted all these years, he will be missed.
- claude Imagna
I cannot express how saddened I was/am to hear about Diego's passing. He was a good friend, mentor, fellow traveler and a sane mind with a calm demeanor in a world full of craziness. While on the road with him, we were able to spend some quality time breaking bread together, usually Sushi (and his single malt Japanese whiskey). During those times, he always found a way to leave work behind and focus on the things that were so much more important, to him, his family. He helped me through some of hardest days in my work career, for which I cannot thank him enough. Two of my fondest memories of him are of Sushi and baseball. We had found this amazing Sushi place in DC and had been there a few times, when he talked me into sitting at the Sushi bar and ordering the Chef's Choice, which ended up being an extraordinary 10 course meal (more like 13 as the chef kept giving us extras, because Diego kept complimenting him on his work). Diego told me afterwards, the meal was the best Sushi he had ever had. The other memory is of baseball. I'm a lifelong Philadelphia Phillies fan and Diego of course loved his Mets. For those who don't know, that's usually a horrible combination... 🙂 He talked me into going to a Mets/Washington Nationals game last year in DC, where he showed up in all his Mets regalia (hat, shirt and even socks, I thinK). September 4th, 2019, his beloved Mets were leading by 6 runs in the bottom of the ninth and I wanted to leave. Diego wouldn't let me, because he said no lead is safe this year for "us", meaning the Mets. Sure enough, the Nats score 7 in the bottom of the ninth for the win. He shook his head, said some choice words under his breath and said "That's what being a Met's fan is all about", By the time we got out of the stadium, though he was telling me about his grand kids and how cool they were, with no more thought about the horrendous loss his team just experienced. But that was Diego. He didn't hold on to things too long. Once it was done, it was over. Time to think about the next thing. He was a good person, honest, true to his word and always willing to listen to an opposing view point or opinion. I will miss him deeply.
- Doug Wiley
I only knew Diego for a short time, as the Program Manager on our current IT Contract for the past year. I've missed his presence in the office, since we've all been working remotely for the last 6 months. I'll remember his passion, his generous spirit and his sense of humor, all of which he shared in abundance with everyone around him. My thoughts go out to his family and loved ones. I feel very lucky to have known him, even for this short amount of time.
- Brendan
My deepest condolences to Diego's family. As most have said, he was such a great person to be around, and in my case work with on the Navy IT contract. I pray for strength and comfort for those impacted by his earthly life and I know he's walking with the angels celebrating eternal life with Him.
- Heather Beaston
While my heart still aches at the untimely passing of this wonderful man, I am grateful that my family and especially my sister ( his wife-Janice- married 38 years ) had him in our lives. While I appreciate and remember so many of his fine qualities, like his intelligence, his kindness and his great sense of humor, I especially admire his loving commitment to his family, my sister, Janice, and his son, Francis. His devotion to and love for my sister was a joy to behold and I am glad that they got to spend so many happy years together. Their union produced an exceptionally fine young man in my nephew ( Francis) who has his Dad's kindness and intelligence (couldn't miss on that-his mom is wicked smart, too!). Character counts, and Diego was a man of character and quality in every aspect of his life, as a family member, as a proud member of the U.S Military and in his second career in the civilian world. He is missed by all of us Jensen's, Nancy (sister of Janice) ,her husband Leif, Catherine, Kerrianne and Erik
- Nancy Jensen
Mi querido hermano ...la.teizteza de tu partida a dejado mi vida a medias ...jams pens que aquel abrazo despus de todos estos aos.lejos era el.comienzo de tantas ms juntos....duele no poder despedirte por la.distancia de pases que nos llev a estar tan alejados por aos...tus.sobrinos Sofa y bruno se. Suman a las condolencias de tu partida vuelta alto mi hermano 1uerido ..por siempre en mi corazn te amo
- Adriana García
I am shocked and saddened to hear of Chief Garcia's passing; Diego. My sincere respect and condolences are extended to his family and all who loved Diego. Chief Garcia served with me at ASTC Cherry Pt as the CPO, and there was never one better. I absolutely loved and admired him for the joy and energy he brought to the command. I have a great sea story about how ASTC Cherry Point got an empty UH-1 airframe shell out of the clear blue sky. I can still hear the flatbed driver's voice, "Where do you want me to put it?"; and me wondering WTH did this come from. Diego and his men took that empty shell and on their initiative built one of the best survival first aid training classrooms in the Navy. I know it is a silly story in light of his sudden passing. I grieve. But it's a reflection of what kind of guy Diego was and what he brought with him everywhere he served. He was a very good man and one of those Sailors I pray is waiting for me at the end of the gangplank when I ask God's quarterdeck for permission to come aboard. I will miss you, Chief, just knowing you are gone. Peace.
- Tom Wheaton
Words just cannot say enough. I had the opportunity to work closely him at the Navy contract. He was a very caring, compassionate and always available to help when needed. Diego will be greatly missed by me and those who worked closely with him. A loved one passing is never easy and pray for his family to find solace.
- Marcela Holguin
You loved life, and more importantly you loved your family. We loved having you as part of our family. We miss you greatly, but Paula and I will never forget you.
- Nathan Webster
I am so sorry to hear of Diego's passing. I will remember him and thankful of him giving me an opportunity to work on the US Navy IT contract after I retired from the Air Force. He was a great mentor in learning how to work with the Navy and provide them with the best service. He will surly be missed by me and several of his former co-workers on the Navy IT contract.
- Martin Hughes

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