Charlie B. Franco, 71, of Morenci, passed away October 9, 2015 at his home holding the hands of his beloved family. Charlie was born March 15, 1944 in Old Morenci to Juan and Manuela Franco of Clifton.
Charlie graduated from Clifton High School in 1962. After graduation he entered the United States Air Force and was stationed in Del Rio,TX. He served from 1962 through1966. During his military service he married and from that union two children were born, Gina and Christopher Franco. He attended the American Institute of Technology where he earned an AA in computer programming, and later he attended the University of Arizona.
On May 31,1986 he married Jane Allen and his life grew even richer. Charlie will be remembered for his humble simplicity and his 1970 Ford Jalopy. His most precious earthly possessions were his dear family.
As a third generation copper miner in the Clifton/Morenci area, Charlie took great pride in his employment at Phelps Dodge, and then later at Freeport-McMoRan, Inc. His technical skills and physical ability afforded him the opportunity to hike and map the familiar landscape of his birthplace as a land surveyor/mapper in FMI’s Engineering Department. His hobbies included antique restoration, hiking, rock hunting, appreciation for classical guitar and blues music, and reading.
In 2009, in recognition of his retirement of 39.5 years of employment, he hiked his family’s sacred mountain, Mulligan’s Peak, and placed his hard hat at the top. Once again, in 2014 in celebration of his 70thbirthday he returned to the scared mountain one final time. Many Franco family milestones have been and will be marked by a pilgrimage to Mulligan’s Peak.
Charlie leaves behind his loving wife of almost 30 years, Jane; his children Gina Franco, Christopher Franco, Rebecca (Shaun) Gardner, Andre’ (Eva) Franco, Ahnalisa (Ruben) Alvarez, Alaina Franco (Ryan Starr); and his brother, David Franco of Tucson. Charlie was an amazing Papa to Carla, Justice, Julia, Grace, Savanna, Ivan, Lillian, and Ella.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Juan and Manuela; infant sister, Ida; and brother, Daniel.
A celebration of Charlie’s life is scheduled for Thursday, October 22, 2015 at 11:00 AM at the Episcopal Church of Sts. Philip & James in Morenci, followed by internment in the Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery. Everyone is invited to a reception in the parish hall following the internment.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that a donation be made to the church for the maintenance of the labyrinth that Charlie designed and constructed for prayer and meditation.
Services are under the direction of McDougal’s Caldwell Funeral Chapel and Crematory. Online condolences may be extended at www.caldwellfuneralchapel.com.