Garcia, Lou

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Lou Garcia died on May 25, 2018, in Florida, where he and his wife Sue have been living for the past several years.  

He was born in Tampa, Fl., on April 8, 1926.  His parents were both from the mountains of Northern Spain.  He grew up in Tampa where he and his two brothers (Alexander and Carlos) and one sister (Mary Lopez) - all deceased - went to school.  Lou left high school before receiving his diploma to enlist in the US Marines in 1944.  He engaged in combat on Okinawa.  He was discharged in June of 1946 and entered college that fall at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, graduating with honors in 1950. Shortly afterwards he married Zulema (Sue) Amat at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Tampa. 

They moved to Knoxville, Tennessee where Lou worked for TVA while attending graduate school at the University of Tennessee.  In 1970 he and Bob Seals formed Vega Corporation in Chattanooga. Lou was regarded as a pioneer in pre-stressed concrete and structural concrete engineering.  He was valued as a consultant all over the world because of his knowledge of concrete.  He and Vega have been involved in many projects around the south, especially in Chattanooga where they were involved in the building of the Tennessee Aquarium.  His long time coworker and friend Jimmy Griffin is now president and owner of Vega and has continued with the founding philosophy of building and maintaining relationships as the key to business, a philosophy Lou modeled in his personal life.  Lou was a Fellow of the American Institute, past president of the Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers, past president of the Associated General Contractors, and a member of the National Society of Professional Engineers.

Lou and Sue were art patrons and both the houses he designed and built (on Lookout Mountain and on Ana Maria Island) were filled with art.  His favorite Christmas gift to his many friends was Four Bridges gift certificates to encourage his young friends to become fellow patrons.  In addition to his thriving business he was extremely active in community affairs serving, on United Way, Hospice, Goodwill Industries, and Fairyland Club boards.  He was active in the mental health area, serving as a trustee for the Moccasin Bend Mental Hospital, on the AIM Center board, on the Fort Wood Mental Health Centerboard and with the Victim-Offender Reconciliation Program. Lou also helped build a school in Haiti that survived the 2010 earthquake.  He was well loved in Haiti.  

Lou and Sue were active in the Episcopal Church and headed up the youth ministry at Grace Episcopal Church before they moved to Lookout Mountain and joined the Church of the Good Shepherd.  Lou served in almost every role he could at Good Shepherd before finally becoming an Ordained Deacon July 9, 1989.  He continued to serve in this role until he and Sue moved to Florida several years ago.  While continuing with his business, many civic activities, and his work at the church, he became the Episcopal Metropolitan Minister overseeing volunteers who served clients who were in need of food, places to live and other necessities.  When this ministry outgrew Christ Church adjacent to the UTC campus, Lou raised funds to purchase the building where MetMin is currently located.  Not being one to easily let go control, he hired his successor, Rebecca Whelchel, who for the past 12 years has continued his work and built MetMin into one of the best known social services organizations in Chattanooga.  

Lest one thinks Lou was all work and duty, he was a runner as well as an active member of the Chattanooga Rowing Club and could be found early in the morning or late in the evening in his scull on the Tennessee River.  He read widely and deeply and was a poet himself.  He is survived by Sue, his wife for almost 70 years and numerous nieces and nephews.

Lou and Sue have many friends and there was almost no part of Chattanooga that Lou was not involved in in some way.  

A celebration of his life will be held at the Church of the Good Shepherd on Lookout Mountain, Wednesday June 27th at 4 P.M. with burial immediately afterwards in the Harriet Caldwell Garden. The Rt. Rev. Brian Cole, Episcopal Bishop of East Tennessee and the Rev. Robert Childers, rector of Good Shepherd will be the chief celebrants on this occasion.  

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made either to The Lou Garcia Building Fund of MetMin or to one’s own favorite charity.  A reception will follow for family and friends immediately afterwards in Talbird Hall.  

Announcement is by John P. Franklin Funeral Home.


Dyer, Dennis Avery

Fletcher, Mary Louise

Watkins, Mike


Dennis Avery Dyer, 65, passed away on Tuesday, November 13, 2018. He grew up in Trion with his loving family. Dennis was a lifelong resident of the North Georgia area. He was a graduate of Trion ... (click for more)

Mary Louise Fletcher, 93, of Fort Oglethorpe, went home to be with the Lord on Monday, November 12, 2018. She was a life-long resident of North Georgia and a graduate of Ringgold High School ... (click for more)

Mike Watkins, 56, passed away on November 13, 2018. He was an avid Tennessee Vols fan. If anything could be said about Mike, it was that he loved his family. He also loved life and lived it ... (click for more)


Obituaries

Dyer, Dennis Avery

Dennis Avery Dyer, 65, passed away on Tuesday, November 13, 2018. He grew up in Trion with his loving family. Dennis was a lifelong resident of the North Georgia area. He was a graduate of Trion High School and Berry College. Earlier in life, Dennis taught and coached at Gordon Lee High School. He worked as an insurance agent for 38 years and also attended Silverdale Baptist Church. ... (click for more)

Fletcher, Mary Louise

Mary Louise Fletcher, 93, of Fort Oglethorpe, went home to be with the Lord on Monday, November 12, 2018. She was a life-long resident of North Georgia and a graduate of Ringgold High School Class of 1942. She was a charter member at First Baptist Church Fort Oglethorpe where she had taught the first grade Sunday School Class for many years, taught the children’s choir and sang ... (click for more)

Area Obituaries

Curtis, Pansy Loretta (Dalton)

Pansy Loretta Curtis, age 61, of Dalton, Georgia passed away on Wednesday, November 14, 2018. She was born in Calhoun, Ga. to her late parents, Deacon Roy Curtis and Ruth Pullum Curtis. She was a member of Liberty Baptist Church and was lastly employed at the Murray County Department of Family and Children Services. She graduated from Eastbrook High School Class of 1974. ... (click for more)

Hill, Rodney Pete (Summerville)

Rodney "Pete" Hill, age 51, of Summerville, Georgia, passed away on Thursday, November 8, 2018 at Redmond Regional Medical Center in Rome, Georgia. He was a member of the Baptist faith and was a truck driver for many years. He is survived by his wife, Rebecca E. Wooten Hill; children, Josha Cox, Quantas Robertson, William G. Walker, Jr., Brandon (Tara) Hill, Adaiane Diedre ... (click for more)

Breaking News

State Chooses Not To Proceed With Road Rage Case Against Longtime Talk Show Host Jeff Styles

The state is declining to continue the prosecution of longtime Talk Radio host Jeff Styles in a road rage case. District Attorney Neal Pinkston signed a "no bill" on the aggravated assault charge. Attorney Lee Davis said, " Jeff Styles called 911 after he was shot. He cooperated in the police investigation and testified in court. Jeff has done everything possible to be fully ... (click for more)

Man Injured Early Thursday Morning When Tree Falls On House

A man was injured early Thursday morning when a tree fell on his house. The Chattanooga Fire Department received the alarm around 3:30 a.m. and responded to 7317 Elaine Circle with several fire companies. Battalion Chief David Thompson Jr. said the department's Urban Search and Rescue Team (USAR) was requested in case a rescue was needed, but the entire family, including two ... (click for more)