Dorothy Marlene Garcia

Dorothy Marlene Garcia, 76, of Morganton, NC passed away Tuesday, February 15, 2022. She was born October 12, 1945 in Modesto, California to Nolan and Dorothy (Herzog) Murrell. At the age of two, Marlene was hospitalized with influenza spinal meningitis. The virus took her hearing, but as with everything in her life, she adapted.
After attending several schools for the handicapped in her childhood, she found a place to prosper in the California School for the Deaf in Riverside and then CSD in Berkley. There she met the love of her life and went on to graduate in 1966. From there she went on to graduate from Gallaudet College for the Deaf in Washington, D.C. in 1972.
During her time at Gallaudet, she married her high school sweetheart, Phillip Michael Garcia in Willow Springs, Missouri where her family had relocated. After graduation she followed Phillip to Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands (not Virginia as they both expected.) While there, she taught local parents American Sign Language to aid them in communicating with their deaf children before teaching children at Abraham Lincoln School.
Inn 1975, they made the decision to move back stateside and joined friends and a strong deaf community in Morganton, NC. Marlene began teaching elementary school and spent 30 years working with students. She loved teaching and took pride in watching her students advance and grow at the NC School for the Deaf.
Marlene was active in the National Association for the Deaf, Junior National Association for the Deaf and NCSD’s Booster Club, to name a few. In her personal time she loved her bridge club, noon lunches and her Red Hat Society. Much like her mom before her, she enjoyed (and relished at winning) any card game you put in front of her. She had many crafting hobbies and her cross stitching found its way into many family and friends’ homes.
Adapting again after the loss of her daughter, she began raising her granddaughter in 2014, a role she cherished. She had many roles throughout life: sister, educator, mother, grandmother, UNC basketball fan, and many others. She poured her heart into each and every one.
Dorothy Marlene was preceded in death by her parents, Nolan and Dorothy Murrell, her daughter, Melissa Diane Garcia and her brother, Franklin Oscar Murrell.
She is survived by her loving husband of over 50 years, Phillip Michael Garcia and her granddaughter, Carlee Mae Garcia of the family home; her son, Phillip Scott Garcia (wife Debbie McDermott) of Durham, NC; her brother Nolan Murrell (wife, Kay) of Redmond, OR, Everett Murrell (wife, Jeannie) of Oceanside, CA, Thomas Cain (wife Lana) of Mountain Grove, MO, Lonnie Cain (wife, Linda) of Willow Springs, MO and Stillman Cain Mountain Grove, MO; sister and best friend, Diane Jeffery of Willow Springs, MO; sisters -in-law Janice Murrell of Bend, OR and Linda Mattson (husband, Ken); and numerous nieces and nephews. She loved her entire family dearly.
A celebration of Dorothy’s life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the NCSD at Morganton Foundation, P. O. Box 1397 Morganton, NC 28680.
Arrangements under the direction of Sossoman Funeral Home, Morganton, N.C.
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