By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Shirley Garcia obit pic
On Wednesday, July 8, 2020, Shirley Dorene Garcia, loving mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother passed away at the age of 87 – one month shy of her 88th birthday.
Grandma – that’s how everyone on the block knew her. To her family, she was known as Mother, Gramma, and Grams. However you may have known her, Shirley was a wonderful woman who will be missed by everyone she touched.
Shirley Dorene Mullins was born to Milton “Moon” and Ollie Bell Mullins in 1932 in Henryetta, Oklahoma. As a young girl, she trekked with her family from Oklahoma across the dusty West sleeping on homemade mattresses over broomed dirt patches on the side of the road until the family made it to California.
Shirley was always a hard worker. As a young girl, she worked in the fields picking asparagus and cotton.
She was filled with pride in her hard work ethic. She would do jobs normally assigned to men and meet the challenge with equal strength.
In her teens, her mother introduced Shirley to the love of her life, Adolphe “Doc” Garcia. They married in Modesto on September 27, 1949, and built a life and family together in Oakdale. They had two children, Larry and Charlotte.
They both worked at Beatrice-Hunt Wesson Cannery. Shirley began her employment on the peach pitting machines. She worked her way up to the lab supervisor and transferred to the warehouse where she drove a forklift and shuttle trucks. On her breaks, she would ride her Schwinn Stingray to Adolphe’s department to visit him before she rode her bike home. She retired from Beatrice Hunt-Wesson in 1988 and was able to spend more time with her family.
Her family meant everything to her. Her kids, five grandkids, and eight great-grandkids brought her so much joy. She often showed her love through giving. Her baked goods and back rubs were among her favorite things to give out and they were also at the top of the wish list from her grandkids. Every grandkid will remember the feeling of a folded bill in hand as grandma would “secretly” slip it into their hand. She always made sure that everyone had spending money and was well fed.
Homemade dumplings were a family favorite. But it was the holidays that everyone looked forward to. Her dinner tables abounded with food which usually included yams and baked beans. The dessert table was always the final destination. Dozens of sugar cookies smothered in cream cheese frosting, fudge oatmeal cookies, divinity, fresh-baked pies, jellos, and her famous peach cobbler filled the dessert table and many happy bellies.
She and Adolphe enjoyed 64 years together. In their golden years, they spent time traveling and visiting with their family. They enjoyed dining out and sharing their sodas. Shirley survived colon cancer in 2001 and was able to enjoy several more birthday cakes with frosting and many more years with Adolphe. After Adolphe’s death in 2011, Shirley remained in their home and continued to be the grandmother of the block.
Aside from sharing fresh citrus from her tree every winter with her neighbors, friends, and family, she enjoyed relaxing in her yard under her shade trees or swinging on the porch swing. She very much enjoyed the beauty of her bird-of-paradise flowers, always pointing out the “babies” about to bloom. She loved traveling, trips to the casino, and playing the slots – especially when she won. But she was just as happy at home in her rocking chair playing her handheld electronic poker game.
What made her the happiest were visits from her family. Her grandkids and great-grandkids lit up her blue eyes and a beaming smile. Scratching and rubbing their backs with her strong hands was one of her favorite routines. The kids would line up waiting their turn, as they loved getting the treatment as much as she loved giving it.
Most will remember her cozied up in her robe, sitting in her rocking chair with an ice-cold Diet Pepsi in hand and bags of penny candy within arms reach. Now, she is reaching for the hand of her “honey” for their next dance.
Shirley was preceded in death by her husband, Adolphe Garcia, and four siblings, Ted, Mildred, Imogene, Violet. She is survived by her brother, Ed Mullins; her children, Char Sharp and Larry A. Garcia and his partner, April; grandchildren: Larimie, Jasmine, Mathias, Raven, Cambry, Ashly; great-grandchildren: Carmyn, Ty, Amalia, Daizy, Izaiah, Azalea, Karina, and Thiago; and many nieces and nephews.
Services are as follows:
Thursday, July 16th, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Oakdale Memorial Chapel, 830 West F St. Oakdale
Friday, July 17th, 10 a.m.
Oak Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery, 431 North Sierra St. (Not Road), Oakdale
Immediately following the Graveside Funeral on Friday, July 17th
Oakdale Events Center (Formerly the Masonic Lodge at Gilbert Park)
335 North 8th Ave., Oakdale.

The Oakdale (Calif.) Leader
The Riverbank (Calif.) News

July 15, 2020