Worcester, MA – Worcester Police Department (WPD) Officer Ignacio “Iggy” Garcia died on Sept. 4 after a courageous battle against pancreatic cancer, according to his department.
Officer Garcia, 46, was diagnosed with stage four cancer many months ago, the Telegram & Gazette reported.
The community rallied around him as he underwent treatment, to include donating over $172,000 to his family’s fundraising page.
He passed away at his home, surrounded by his loved ones, according to his obituary.
“It comes with a heavy heart to inform you that Iggy has passed away after his courageous battle with pancreatic cancer,” fundraiser organizer Nick Belsito wrote in an update on the fundraising page on Monday. “He is extremely grateful for everyone’s love and support; it was overwhelming and very humbling for him. Iggy was one of a kind, and your thoughts and prayers were nothing short of incredible.”
Belsito asked for everyone to keep Officer Garcia’s family in their thoughts and prayers.
“His legacy will live on,” he wrote.
Officer Garcia served the WPD for 17 years, the agency said in a press release on Monday.
“He was an outstanding officer who cared deeply about Worcester, the city he grew up in,” the department said. “He made a tremendous impact on our neighborhoods through his work in the gang unit. Iggy was a role model for our youth and he worked tirelessly to bring opportunities to them as the Coordinator of our youth programs.”
WPD Chief Steven Sargent said Officer Garcia was a perpetually happy person, even in the face of adversity.
“I can’t recall a day when I didn’t see Iggy smiling,” Chief Sargent said. “His friends and especially his family brought him a great amount of joy.”
Officer Garcia leaves behind his wife, Shana, his son, Dezi, and his daughters, Lucia and Giuliana, according to his obituary.
He is also survived by his parents, sister, niece, nephew, in-laws, cousins, uncles, aunts, friends, “and his brothers and sisters in uniform,” according to his family.
“Iggy Garcia, a proud Cuban American who loved and embraced his cultural heritage was a loving husband, father, son, friend, and dedicated police officer; always finding the positive in any situation, ‘positive thoughts’ was his motto,” the tribute read. “He embodied the traits of a ‘good person’ with his loyalty, dignity, respect, morals, a good heart, and good character.”
His family said he was the embodiment of selflessness.
“We’re saddened to hear of the passing of Worcester Police Officer Iggy Garcia after his battle with pancreatic cancer,” Worcester District Attorney Joseph Early tweeted on Sunday morning. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Iggy’s family, friends and the members of the Worcester Police Department.”
Officer Garcia will be laid to rest on Sept. 11.
We’re saddened to hear of the passing of Worcester Police Officer Iggy Garcia after his battle with pancreatic cancer. Our thoughts and prayers are with Iggy’s family, friends and the members of the Worcester Police Department. pic.twitter.com/vCZ7rZHURj
— Joseph D. Early Jr. (@worcesterda) September 5, 2021
— Mass Police Assoc (@MassPoliceAssoc) September 5, 2021
🙏🏻 Veteran @WorcesterPD Officer Iggy Garcia has lost his battle with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Thinking of family, friends & WPD colleagues.
— Mike Saccone (@mikesacconetv) September 5, 2021
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Worcester Police Department Officer Ignacio “Iggy” Garcia, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.