Robert Franco, MD|
Dr. Robert Franco died August 21 at The Kline Galland Home in Seattle.
Robert Franco was born in Seattle Washington. He was the son of Rosa Boulissa and Marco Franco. His parents emigrated from the Island of Rhodes in 1910.
Robert attended Leschi Grade School and in 1932 graduated from Garfield High School. Robert received his undergraduate degree from the University of Washington and M.D. from The University of Oregon in Portland.
He entered the military as a member of the 2nd battalion, 505th Parachute Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division. The 505th made four major combat jumps including Sicily, Salerno, Normandy and Holland. Captain Franco was one of the few who made all four jumps. Captain Franco was cited for his service receiving the Silver Star, Soldier's Medal and Purple Heart with Cluster.
Robert was completing his medical training in surgery in Boston, MA when he met a surgical nurse, Ilene Andler. His marriage proposal to Ilene was accepted during a date at Fenway Park, at a Red Sox game. Ilene and Robert began their 62 years of marriage on November 22, 1947.
Ilene and Robert settled in Richland, Washington in 1954, to spend 55 of their 62 years together. Richland was for the Franco family including six children Marc Franco (Seattle), Barbara Sherer (Bellevue), Michael Franco (Cheryl, Kent, WA), Janet Franco (Portland), Ellen Wilbur (John, Laguna Nigel, CA) and Martha Kennedy (Dave, Denver).
Jewish faith and traditions were extremely important and a constant part of Franco family life. During the 1950s and 60's Robert and Ilene joined others in the Tri-Cities Jewish Community to support and develop Congregation Beth Shalom in Richland.
Robert was a practicing surgeon in Richland for 41 years. Dr. Franco was truly a committed medical man, friend and neighbor. Those roles always ran together for Robert. Many, if not most patients were neighbors and friends.
Robert was active with The Boy Scouts serving as camp doctor several summers. He loved skiing and started all six Franco kids at an early age, driving car pools to Spout Springs, Oregon and White Pass ski areas. Robert's only true time of sadness came three years ago in 2010 with the passing of Ilene, his wife of 62 years. Robert did not just love Ilene, he truly adored her..
Robert is survived by his six children, nine grand children and two great-grandchildren. Robert is also survived by sister Sarah of Los Angeles. He is preceded in death by brothers John, Nessim, and Albert and sister Dorothy.
Service for Robert was held in Richland, August 25. Donations can be made to Congregation Beth Shalom, P. O. Box 761, Richland, WA 99352, or the
Published in The Seattle Times on Sept. 1, 2013