Jose ‘JoJo’ Garcia

Best known for his work with youth sports, Jose ‘JoJo’ Garcia also volunteered his time and talents in many other areas of the community. He’s pictured here helping the 2106 lighted Christmas parade run smoothly.

NEEDLES — Jose ‘JoJo’ Garcia’s light burned bright with volunteer spirit for the community of Needles, especially with youth sports programs, and continues to do so after his passing Thursday night.

An estimated 200 mourners turned out for a vigil for the perennial volunteer Friday night on Nikki Bunch Field, where his name was spelled out in candles at home plate. A circle formed, prayers were said, Amazing Grace was sung and memories were shared by many attending.

Needles High School Mustangs football held a vigil of their own in Yerington, Nev., for the 31-year veteran of the Branigan Field ‘chain gang’ who likely worked with a significant percentage of the players during their early years in rec ball where he volunteered for a similar length of time.

Unconfirmed reports indicate memorials will continue, possibly Saturday and probably Sunday night when the Mustangs return. Those are said to be held at the same time and place: around 6:30 p.m. PST on the field at J Street and Bailey Avenue.

Confirmation has now been obtained of formal services set for Thursday and Friday.

Visitation begins at 5 p.m., Vigil Services begin at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21, in St. Ann Catholic Church at D and Third streets.

Rosary begins at 9:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 22, at St. Ann’s, Mass begins at 10 a.m. Burial follows immediately at Needles’ Riverview Cemetery. Eulogies and reflections may be offered at a reception at Needles BPO Elks Lodge 1608 immediately after the burial.

A fund has been set up for donations toward burial expenses. Make checks payable to St. Ann Catholic Church, P.O. Box 190, Needles, CA 92363. Write Jose Garcia Memorial Fund on the memo line.

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