Thomas Chiro Camarca

Camarca Enlarge photo


Durango resident, Thomas Chiro Camarca died Saturday, March 17, 2012, at his home in Durango. He was 89.

Mr. Camarca was born in Los Angeles to Gaetano and Emilia Camarca under the name of Ciriaco Gaetano Camarca on July 18, 1922.

In 1940s during World War II, Mr. Camarca began his service for the U.S. Navy. He was stationed on a supply ship near Korea in the South China Sea. He was discharged in 1946.

After his military service, Mr. Camarca enrolled in the University of Southern California and graduated in June 1948 with a bachelor’s degree in engineering.

In Los Angeles on March 31, 1951, Mr. Camarca married Kathleen McHargue. Together they had four children. She died in 1992.

He worked as a project manager for several companies from the 1940s until the mid-1990s estimating and managing large commercial building projects in Los Angeles.

Until he was in his 80s, Mr. Camarca worked for a hardware store called Ganahl Lumber in Orange County, Calif., until 2004.

In 2006, Mr. Camarca moved to Durango to be near his family.

Of his many hobbies, Mr. Camarca enjoyed watering his gardens where he grew vegetables and flowers, building wood model airplanes and playing Sudoku, his family said.

Later in his life, “he loved watching” and often commented on “the billowing of clouds in the Colorado skies,” his family said.

Mr. Camarca is preceded in death by his wife of 41 years, Kathleen McHargue-Camarca, and his son Jeffery Guy Camarca.

He is survived by his son Glenn Camarca of Durango, daughter Sue Stapleton-Camarca of Durango, six grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

Cremation will occur. No public memorial service will be held.