The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

SBCC remembers death of 19-year-old student Roberto Garcia Jr.

Courtesy of Carolina Lemus.

Roberto Garcia Jr., spirited, adventurous, and the life of the party, died on Monday, Sept. 12, leaving a community to mourn the loss of his contagious smile.

With 19 years around the sun, Garcia’s memory encompasses all of the beauty that his life held. Described by his family as the quintessential California teenager, Garcia spent his time finding all of the joys that life offers. Surfing waves off the coastline, skiing and mountain biking with his brothers and friends, and playing sports all throughout high school. Along with having many hobbies, as he grew older and furthered his education, Garcia began expressing a deeper passion for education. He loved the challenge of a hard assignment and felt the accomplishment when his work paid off.

Garcia was born and raised in Santa Ynez Valley where he held a bond with many people. With a big family and lots of close friends, the charismatic teen was well known for his sense of humor and outgoing personality. 

Carolina Lemus, cousin of Garcia, explained how his family will always remember the smile that lit up his whole face and his big, endearing hugs.

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“He was such a positive, spirited person,” Lemus said. “He had so much passion to do things in life.”

This aspiring soul leaves behind two younger brothers and a big family who all mourn together in the memory of his passing.

From excitedly bragging about eating an entire pizza by himself to comically hogging the air conditioner during the summer heatwave, Garcia was endless entertainment. Upon entering the room, his family and friends exclaimed: ‘Ayy Roberto!” endearingly at his grand entrance and consistent status of arriving fashionably late. 

Along with his humorous, carefree side, Garcia was helpful, thoughtful and caring to everyone in his life. He was always someone to count on.

“This has been impactful for the whole Santa Ynez valley because everyone either knew the siblings or the family,” Lemus said. “He had a large friend group that he was able to create from a young age…His friends really truly knew who he was.”

Loving the thrill of life, Garcia was always active, happy, and finding ways to adventure.

“He didn’t pretend to be someone he wasn’t. He was always himself,” Garcia’s cousin Abraham Lemus said. “If there is one thing he did, it was lived.”

One of Garcia’s many passions in life were his cars; showing them off or having a new project. He had a Ford Ranger, Mustang and BMW M3 which he spent his time fixing and modifying.

One of Garcias goals in life was to one day be a car engineer for a racing team. He frequently attended races, car shows, and dirt bike races.

His adoration for fancy cars ended as the symbolic tragedy that brought his life on earth to an end, leaving behind a community that will honor his memory and keep his spirit alive.

“When he gave you his smile and big big hug,” Carolina Lemus said. “You knew Roberto was home.”

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