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Olivia Garza '84 September 9, 2022 12:50 PM updated: September 9, 2022 1:09 PM

Dr. Olivia Teresa Garza
July 22, 1962 — July 17, 2022

Dr. Olivia Teresa Garza was called home to Heaven on Sunday July 17, 2022. She passed peacefully from this world at her home in Abilene with her husband Jesse by her side.

Olivia was born July 22, 1962 to Maria and Carlos Garza. She attended Blessed Sacrament School, Ursuline Academy, St. Agustin High, and graduated from Nixon High School in 1980.

After a year at Laredo Junior College, she went on to attend Texas A & M University where she graduated Cum Laude with a B. S. in microbiology in 1984. After graduation, she attended the school for medical technology at Baptist Hospital in San Antonio. She was then accepted into medical school at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston where she graduated in 1989. She continued her training as a resident in pathology at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas before accepting a fellowship in cytopathology at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.

Olivia moved to Tucson, Arizona in 1994 to begin her career as a pathologist at Tucson Medical Center, a position she held until she retired in 2018. After moving to Tucson, she married her college sweetheart Jesse Wood. Olivia loved living in Tucson, and she had many adventures with Jesse as they hiked throughout Arizona over the years.

Helping her fellow man, as well as all of God’s creatures, was a life-long commitment for Olivia. Her medical career was how she chose to serve others professionally, but in her personal life she would lend a helping hand to anyone in need. She was a proud daughter of Laredo, and chose to help the youth of her hometown through a permanent endowment with Laredo Area Community Foundation. She loved music, was a flautist and pianist, and funded music education programs in Laredo in hopes of instilling a similar love of music in the lives of others. Her warm, caring personality and brilliant smile born from her genuine concern and acceptance of others will be forever remembered by those who knew her.

Olivia was preceded in passing by her father Carlos G. Garza.

Left behind to cherish her memory are her husband Jesse, her mother Maria T. Garza, sister Patricia Quinones, brothers Carlos, Bobby, and Billy, sister-in-law Eilene, niece Sarah, as well as her aunts, uncles, cousins, and many cherished friends.

A celebration of Olivia’s life will be held on Friday, July 22, 2022 from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Joe Jackson Heights Funeral Chapels, 719 Loring at Cortez; where a Rosary will commence at 7:00 p.m.

Funeral Services will be held on Saturday morning, July 23, 2022, departing at 8:40 a.m. from Joe Jackson Heights Funeral Chapels to Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church for a Mass of Christian Burial at 9:00 a.m.

Rite of Committal and Interment will follow at the family plot of the Calvary Catholic Cemetery.

Pallbearers will be: Carlos Garza, Bobby Garza, Bobby Castro, Chris Moore, Humberto Vela, Jr., R.N., and Jesse Wood. Honorary pallbearers will be: Billy Garza and JM Lozano.

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Olivia may be made to Paws on Board Rescue in Laredo, or at their website: or to

You may express your condolences, share your favorite memories, and sign the guestbook online at:

Arrangements have been entrusted to the care and direction of the funeral service professionals at Joe Jackson Heights Funeral Chapels & Cremation Services, 719 Loring at Cortez, Laredo, Texas 78040; (956)722-0001.


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