Viewing will be Friday, August 25, 2017, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Anderson-Bethany Funeral Home. A celebration will take place following the viewing from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. A funeral service will be held on Saturday, August 26, 2017, at 10 a.m. at Anderson-Bethany Funeral Home Chapel. Interment will follow at South Park Cemetery. A tribute of Santos’ life may be found at andersonbethany.com where you may leave memories and expressions of sympathy for his family.
Santos was born in Acala, Texas (located in Hudspeth County, Texas, 54 miles southeast of El Paso, with a current population of about 25) on November 1, 1936, to Valente and Epimenia “Pime” Franco. Santos was the fifth of eight children: Flavio, Maria, Jose, Tomasa, Sam, Irene and Manuel.
He lived in Acala until 1946, when the Franco Family moved to Oasis Ranch just outside of Roswell, NM. At 10 years old, Santos started working on the Oasis Ranch, and three months out of the year he attended school at East Grand Plains. He was able to complete a sixth-grade education. At the Oasis Ranch, Santos drove tractors, chopped cotton, baled hay and worked at the pig farm. He met a friend for life at Oasis in Isidro “Sid” Guerrero, and they remained close to the day of his passing. Santos often told stories of working late at night in the fields and of “La Llorona.”
When he was 17 years old, Santos met a friend of his sisters who lived in Roswell, Priscilla Sigala. Priscilla was the true love of his life. They would walk to the Pecos Theater in Roswell, go out for hamburgers at the Hippo-Burger, and dance at the Cielito Lindo Hall in Roswell and at the La Rosa in Hagerman. Santos and Priscilla married on September 29, 1955, and they continued to dance together at Franco Family gatherings for years to come.
In 1957, Santos moved to Roswell with his older brother Flavio, and at the age of 21, started work at Bowman Lumber Yard in Roswell, earning $100 a week. After moving to Roswell, he and Priscilla lived at 1505 Stanton Road for two years. In 1959, the family moved to 1515 South Garden, which still remains the family home, and has always been a place where all are welcome. During those years, the Santos and Priscilla Franco Family began: Juan (“Johnny”), Robert (“Bobby”), Santos Jr., Freddy, Lynda and Ruben.
Santos worked at Bowman Lumber until 1972, where he taught himself math by working on measurements. He started at State Chemical in 1973, and worked there until 1986, delivering janitorial supplies to all of Southeastern New Mexico. Santos then worked at Sunland Sanitary Supply from 1986 to 1992, again delivering supplies to Southeastern New Mexico. From 1992 to 2000, he was employed by Unisource Chemical doing the same type of work. Santos’ last stop before retirement in 2003, was at Star Janitorial beginning in 2000. During the time he worked, Santos taught himself how to read and write, earning the education that had officially stopped in sixth grade.
A friend to all, Santos always had a story and smile to share. Santos’ closest friends included his brothers: Flavio, Jose, Sam, Manuel, Sid Guerrero, “GB” George Bennett, Joe Lopez, Nick Aragon, Melvin Candelaria, Frank Sosa, Rafael Macias, and Nacho. Those that knew Santos had a true friend who was always willing to lend a helping hand. You could always find a friend, brother, sister, son, daughter, grandchild, nephew, niece, or a great-grandchild visiting Santos and Priscilla at the family home. To this day the extended Franco Family still gathers there to tell jokes and eat good food. As he got older, Santos loved spending time with his many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, telling them stories about the ninja he kept in the closet, about wars he was never a part of, and also teaching them how to dance to traditional Mexican music. Throughout his life, he was known as Santos, Friend, Amigo, Compadre/Compa, Tocayo, Primo, Tio/Uncle, Dad, Grandpa, Great-Grandpa, and “Pops.”
He is survived by his spouse of 61 years, Priscilla Franco; son, Johnny Franco and spouse, Yolanda Franco (children: Lisa, Chris, Gino); son, Bobby Franco and spouse, Rebecca Franco (children: Sonya, Danielle, Robert Daniel); son, Santos Jr Franco and spouse, Donna Franco (children: Santos III, Paul, Sarah); son, Freddy Franco (children: Chris, Freddy Jr, Jennifer); daughter, Lynda Franco and spouse, Victor Rodriguez; and son, Ruben Franco and spouse, Julie Franco (children: Fabian, Brianna, Damian).
Those chosen to serve as honorary pallbearers are: George Bennett, Ernie Lucero, Ronnie Lopez; son-in-law, Victor Rodriguez; grandchildren: Lisa Medina, Sonya Franco-Williams, Danielle Franco, Sarah Franco, Jennifer Franco, and Brianna Franco; great-grandchildren: Mikey Amador, Jordan Amador, Johnny Amador, Alyssa Romero, Amelia Romero, Joey Romero, Jasmyn Green-Franco, Jaselyn Williams, Armando Vargas-Franco, Adrian Vargas, Adryella Vargas, Isabel Franco, Alison Franco, Aaron Montano, Nathaniel Salazar, Haeli Montano, Mila Franco, Elijah Franco and Amaia Franco.
Pallbearers are his grandchildren: Gino Romero, Santos J. Franco III, Chris Montano-Franco, Paul Franco, Freddy Franco Jr., Fabian Franco, Damian Franco and Robert Daniel Franco.
This tribute was lovingly written in honor of Santos by his family.