AUSTIN, Texas - Juanita Carola Garcia-Lemke passed away on November 21, 2007 at Hospice Austin's Christopher House, surrounded by family and friends. She is now at peace in the presence of her Heavenly Father after waging a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. She was born and raised in San Diego, Texas.
Carola came to Austin in 1969 after graduating from San Diego High School to attend the University of Texas. After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Speech in 1972, she went to work for the Austin Independent School District as a speech pathologist at Dawson Elementary. Wanting to expand her career options, she completed her Master's Degree in Education at U.T. in 1978, and also received her administrator's certification from Southwest Texas State University. Other job assignments in Austin ISD included Speech Pathologist at Zavala and Metz Elementary Schools, Elementary Special Education Coordinator for the district, assistant principal at Bedichek Middle School and Travis Heights Elementary and principal at Linder Elementary. Between 1976 and 1978, she was a Program Coordinator at the Texas Education Agency. In 2001, she accepted employment with the University of Texas Charter Schools and served as principal of several campuses until her retirement at the end of March 2007.
Carola touched the lives of many students and their parents and was a mentor, friend and colleague to many teachers and fellow administrators.
Carola is survived by her loving husband, Cliff Lemke; parents, Jaime and Berta Garcia; sisters, Carmela Garcia and Celina (Brad) Fairchild; brother, Martin J. (Sylvia) Garcia; nieces, Amber (Scott) DellAngelo, and Iris and Alyssa Garcia; nephew, Aaron Garcia; and great-niece, Lauren DellAngelo. She is also survived by sisters-in-law, Debbie (Dennis) Blocker, Peggy (Fran) Conte, Dawn Rudd, Ellen (Gary) Dodson and their families. Also surviving are numerous cousins and many lifelong and dear friends.
Carola became a member of the Delta Kappa Gamma International Society for Key Women in Education in 2001 by being initiated into the local Zeta Eta Chapter. She served on the Executive Board of the Zeta Eta Chapter. Carola was also currently serving on the board of Southwest Educational Development Laboratory.
Carola was a very loving, caring individual, always thinking of the comfort and welfare of others. She will be greatly missed.
Visitation will begin at 6 p.m. Wednesday, November 28, 2007 with a Rosary recited at 7 p.m. that evening at Mauro P. Garcia Funeral Home in San Diego, Texas. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Thursday, November 29, 2007 at St. Francis De Paula Catholic Church with burial following at La Esperanza Ranch Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice Austin's Christopher House, 4107 Spicewood Springs Road, Suite 100, Austin, Texas, 78759; the University Catholic Center, 2010 University Avenue, Austin, Texas, 78705; or SafePlace, 1515 Grove Boulevard, Austin, Texas, 78741.
The family wishes to thank the staff and volunteers of Christopher House for their compassionate and loving care, and the many friends who were there to support Carola and her family.
Arrangements entrusted to Mauro P. Garcia Funeral Homes, Inc.