"He was just the sweetest guy in the world," said his law partner, Randall Rosenberg. "He was a man of integrity. When he gave his word you could take it to the bank. He was known as one of the top criminal defense attorneys in the state."
Known as a "champion of the underdog," Garcia served on the board of directors of the Hawaii State Bar Association and was a member of the board of the Hawaii Bar Examiners. He was also appointed as a delegate to the 9th Circuit Judicial Conference.
"He was always a gentleman in the courtroom," Rosenberg said, referring to his former high school soccer coach. "It didn't matter who was on the other side. He wasn't in your face."
Longtime friend Judge Marie Milks remembers Garcia as the "consummate jury trial lawyer. I saw in him absolute charm," she said.
In 1994, Garcia successfully argued that a murder defendant was innocent by reason of insanity because of a chronic addiction to methamphetamine.
Lani Rae Suisa Garcia, his wife and law partner, said Garcia's hero was St. Thomas Moore, who was beheaded for standing up for his beliefs.
"Nick was a philosopher at heart," she said. "He was ardent in his passion to provide justice for the disadvantaged. ... He was so entranced by life, and in turn, we were all entranced by Nick."
About the only thing Garcia couldn't master was golf, Rosenberg said.
"He was a golf fanatic," Rosenberg recalled. "He was a big guy. He looked like Dom DeLuise. He'd introduce himself to juries as Dom DeLuise. If you can picture Dom DeLuise swearing at a water hazard that had just gobbled up his third ball."
Garcia also is survived by daughter Cristina Ululani R.; parents Agustin A. and Rosario R.; brothers, Agustin T. "Joe" and Manuel D. "Mike"; and sisters, Anna I. McPherson and Angela S. Garcia-Williamson.
Visitation is from 9 a.m. to noon Monday at Holy Trinity Catholic Church. Mass to follow at noon with burial at 1:45 p.m. at Diamond Head Memorial Park.
Stanley A. Fujiura, 60, of Honolulu, controller at Inter-Island Federal Credit Union and part-time agent at Waikiki Realty Ltd., died Tuesday in Kaiser Hospital. He is survived by wife, Virginia M.; daughters Becky M. Visher and Terri A. and Cori M. Fujiura; brothers Alan M. and Howard Y.; and sisters Felice F. Iwanaga and Beverly K. Okabe. Memorial service: 8 p.m. Tuesday at Hosoi Garden Mortuary. Casual attire. No flowers.
Kimi Honma, 94, of Hilo died Tuesday at the Life Care Center of Hilo. She is survived by sons, Tadanobu and Tomomi; daughters Yoshimi Miura, Kiyoe Yamane, Sumiko Ito and Mitsue Stout; sister Ishi Miura; 14 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren. Memorial service: 4 p.m. Sunday at Dodo Mortuary. Call after 3 p.m. Casual attire. No flowers.
Lester Y. Ichinose, 61, of Evanston, Ill., formerly of Honolulu, academic dean for Knowledge System Institute in Skokie, Ill., died June 24. He is survived by wife Jennifer; sons Peter, Edmund, Frederic and Daniel; daughter Mary; parents Eugene and Harriet; brothers Eugene Jr. and David; sister Susan, and a granddaughter. Private services.
Sadako Kitagawa, 89, of Honolulu died Monday in Kuakini Hospital. She is survived by son Stanley F.; daughters Lilian M. Kawaratani and Irene T. Kitagawa; brothers Takeru, Kazuma, Tsutomu and Atsushi Nekoba; sisters Nobuko Murakawa and Yoshie Yoshie Nekoba; and seven grandchildren. Memorial service: 6 p.m. Monday at Hosoi Garden Mortuary. Casual attire. No flowers.
Stan K. Mwarey, 14, son of Sabino and Marie Mwarey Sr. of Hilo, a student at Waiakea Intermediate School, died Monday in Hilo Hospital. He is survived by brother Sabino Mwarey Jr.; sister Achunsion Mwarey; maternal grandmother Violet Ricalde; paternal grandfather, Alonso Tilipau. Call: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday at Dodo Mortuary; wake 7 p.m. Service: 10 a.m. Tuesday at the mortuary. Call after 8:30 a.m. Burial: Homelani Memorial Park. Casual attire. No flowers.
Peter B. Ogilby, 75, of Honolulu, retired dean of St. Andrew's Priory School, died June 25. Service: 4 p.m. Wednesday at St. Andrew's Cathedral. Aloha attire. No flowers.
Hilario Ranis, 92, of Aiea died June 16 in Queen's Hospital. He is survived by sons Timothy, Patrick and Daniel; daughter Med Ranis-Ceno; 11 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren. Services held.
Fumiko Uchima, 83, of Honolulu, died June 15 in Kuakini Hospital. She is survived by sons Stanley I. and Warren K.; brother Satoshi; sister Lydia S. Ranger; and four grandchildren. Private services.