Gus Garcia, 80, of Parsons passed away at 10:50 a.m. Wednesday, June 5, 2019, at his home.
He was born on Nov. 16, 1938, to Ygnacio and Angelus (Gonzales) Garcia in Douglass. He grew up in Douglass and upon graduation from high school joined the Marines. While in the Marines, he was on the wrestling team for three years. Upon discharge from the Marines, Gus attended Kansas State University, where he was a three-year wrestling letterman for the university and was a third-place Big Eight medalist.
Gus began his teaching and coaching career at Atwood High School, where he led a team to winning a state team title and 12 teams to finish in the top 10. He moved on to Augusta High School, where he coached seven top 10 team finishes at state. He also proudly coached his two sons to a combined six state medals, including an individual state championship for Gus Garcia Jr. as well as a state runner-up for his son, Gabe. In Gus’s career, he coached 21 state champions, 27 runners-up, 16 third-place medalists and 19 fourth-place medalists. As a high school coach, besides leading championship teams, he helped establish the Kansas Kids Wrestling Foundation; volunteered to officiate in the state tournament; and took a youth freestyle wrestling team to Iran in 1974. He is in numerous halls of fame, from Augusta to Oklahoma, and in 2004 was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Following his retirement from Augusta High School, Gus worked in private security and coached at Maize Middle School, where he won two Pioneer League championships. He relocated to Parsons, where he enjoyed fishing, spoiling his yellow Labrador, Buddy, and watching the Labette Community College wrestlers.
Survivors include two sons, Gus Garcia Jr. of Augusta and Gabe Garcia of Wichita; a daughter, Darla Garcia of Augusta; and eight grandchildren.
Memorials are suggested to the Gene Nunz Scholarship Fund, which benefits Augusta High School wrestlers. These can be dropped off or mailed to Forbes-Hoffman Funeral Home, P.O. Box 374, Parsons, KS, 67357.
A graveside service with Marine Corps honors will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Douglass Cemetery, 1200 E. Eighth St. in Douglass.
Online condolences may be left at www.forbeshoffman.com.