Posted on Aug 24, 2011 - 04:04 PM

Elva Garcia Mendiguchia, 81, of Gloucester, died peacefully in the early morning hours of Aug. 6, 2011 at her home.

Elva was born in Newark, N.J., on June 29, 1930 to the late Jesus and Rogelia Garcia. She graduated from William Howard Taft High School, New York City, in 1948. During her high school years Elva worked summers at the "Villa Hermosa" boardinghouse near Woodstock, N.Y., where she was a waitress. During one of those summers she met Domingo Mendiguchia who would become her husband and lifelong companion. They were married on July 30, 1949. Shortly after being married she followed her new husband, Domingo, to Coronado, Cal., where he was stationed at Naval Air Station Coronado and she worked as a secretary at the U.S. Navy Supply Depot across the bay in San Diego. After three years in San Diego and exploring the West, Domingo and Elva left the U.S. Navy and entered the U.S. Air Force. As an Air Force wife, she, her husband and now growing family traveled and lived in many different countries around the world including the Philippines, Panama and four different states before retiring in Virginia in 1973.

Moving so much during the years of service life taught her to see the best side of every place she ever lived whether it was the Philippines, Panama, Alaska or Guam. Elva always found something great about her new homes, no matter where they were, and shared it with her family. There was never a place that she did not learn new things and enjoy to the fullest. Moving so much also brought Elva into contact with many different people over the years and many remained friends for her entire life. Everyone she met was important to her and she always gave of her time and humor. She was seen by everyone who met her as the happiest, friendliest, most loving woman who always saw the world with a positive outlook and imbued everyone around her with the feeling that they were special and important to her. Elva will be greatly missed by her family and friends.

She is survived by her loving husband of 62 years, Domingo Mendiguchia Jr.; her son, Daniel Mendiguchia and wife Peggy Haflinger Mendiguchia of San Diego, Cal.; daughters, Denise Milligan and husband Matt Milligan of San Diego, and Deanna Burris and husband Mickey Burris of Gloucester; grandchildren, Kyle Mendiguchia, Bryson and Caitlin Milligan, Morgan and Chandler Burris.

Services will be held at a later date, to be announced, at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego.

Elva requested that donations in her name be made to the AmericanHeart Association, Mid-Atlantic Affiliate at American Heart Association, 4217 Park Place Court, Glen Allen, Va. 23060 (a downloadable form at http://www.heart.org/idc/groups/heart-public/@wcm/@tcs/documents/downloadable/ucm_430364.pdf is available) or online at https://donate.americanheart.org/.