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Funeral services Monday for farm worker couple killed after being stopped by ICE, leaving six orphan children


Delano, Calif.—A mass and viewing for Santos Hilario Garcia and Marcelina Garcia Perfecto, husband-and-wife farm workers seeking work when they died in a March 13 car crash while fleeing by ICE agents, will be held starting at 9 a.m. Monday at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Delano. It will be the only opportunity for their six children, ages eight to 18 who were orphaned by the incident, to honor their parents before the bodies are transported home for burial in Mexico with help from the Mexican Consulate. A reception will follow at about 1 p.m. at nearby Almond Tree Middle School.

Family members have requested privacy and will not be available for interviews. Their advocates—including United Farm Workers President Arturo S. Rodriguez, UFW Foundation Executive Director Diana Tellefson-Torres and UFW Foundation coordinator Nancy Oropeza—will be available.

The Guadalupe Church has played a historic role in the farm worker movement. It was Cesar Chavez’s parish and the adjacent church hall was where on Sept. 16, 1965, Mexican Independence Day, the Latino members of Chavez’s union voted to join the Delano grape strike begun that month by Filipino grape workers.

Who:    The six children and other relatives of Santos Hilario Garcia and Marcelina Garcia Perfecto, Delano farm workers killed while being chased by ICE; UFW President Arturo Rodriguez, UFW Foundation Executive Director Diana Tellefson-Torres.

What:    Funeral services before their bodies are transported home for burial in Mexico.

When:     Mass at 9 a.m.; viewing from 10-11:30 a.m.; reception at 1 p.m.

Where:    Mass and viewing at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, 1015 Clinton Ave., Delano 93215; reception at Almond Tree Middle School, 200 W. 15th Ave., Delano 93215.

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