Donna Potter Garcia passed away unexpectedly in October, seven months to the day after Joe, her beloved husband of almost 30 years, also passed away.

Garcia was the longtime president of the Center Park Resident Council, volunteer scheduler for the Center Park Bus, and co-founder of the STAR of Seattle computer center.

She grew up outside of Helena, Montana, and contracted polio at age 3. The effects of the illness stayed with her for the rest of her life, bringing many medical challenges. Her response was to pour passion and energy into all kinds of efforts to make life better in her community.

When the Center Park community was built in the 1960s, it was given its own Metro bus route and bus. This was long before the American with Disabilities Act, and before Seattle led the nation in deploying wheelchair lifts on all buses. The Center Park bus, which is specially designed to transport people with disabilities, takes groups of residents on shopping trips, to some public events, and also to special events planned by and for the community.

At Metro, we got to know Garcia over the years, as she volunteered to work with residents and the bus driver to schedule trips, and led efforts to advocate on behalf of her community when the bus was (more than once) threatened by budget cuts. We appreciated her commitment, openness, and work to help her neighbors with disabilities get around on public transportation.

She will be sorely missed, and leaves very big shoes to fill. Center Park residents invite all to join in remembering her: