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Mickey D. Franco

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Mickey D. Franco Obituary

June 11, 1938 - January 18, 2014

Game. Set. Match.

Nothing but Love-Love.

Our dad, Mickey Franco, left us January 18th for the big tennis court in the sky. (He's going to show those angels how to play, of course!). He has been an influence over 100's and 100's of people's lives... and tennis games. He was definitely an Ace when it comes to people that care about and have a passion for what they do, making a living just happened to come with the territory. For those of you who knew him, whether it be now or then, at Sam Brannan Park, Rancho Cortez, Caramba Sports or in LA, I'm sure you can still hear his voice during the 6 ball drill. His absolute love and deep passion for tennis shone through into his teaching, and as he instructed so many people about tennis, he taught us all so much about life. Stay on your toes. And out of no man's land. Bend your knees. Keep your racquet up. Elbows in. Follow through. Most importantly, keep your eye on the ball. Keep your eye on the ball. Ever wonder how many times he said that over the last 50 years?

He made you earn everything. Coincidentally, because he commands respect, just his praise was reward enough. If Mickey said you played well, you must have... We've found letters from 30 years ago thanking him for what he's given. Bet you've never known another man to receive so many kind thoughts, cards and gifts "just because" from men, women and children alike! And in the recent years, anytime he was in the hospital, he has had more visitors than most. He's also won over the nursing staff at whichever facility he's been in, once he starts to feel better. A very generous man, only wanting the best from people, for themselves. Countless lives touched by such a little man. Always much bigger in heart than in height. Well, except while playing dominoes... He was a giant!

His figurative heart was captured by the love of some amazing women in his 75 years. He really lived a life of romance, quietly or publicly. How can you not when your life revolves around "love"? He really built his final home in Torrance after he moved from the good 'ole YC, he's made so many friends there... And a true love. Mickey also enjoyed soft jazz and dancing, fishing and hunting. His tri-annual trips to visit revolved around holidays, but mostly fishing or hunting seasons. He has 1000's of hours spent with lifelong friends in duck blinds and fishing boats. When he could taste, his appetite was real. He actually inspired the pursuit of flavor and, in turn, the cook in all of us. We all love food. It's more than sustenance. It's bonding, family. Comfort and occasional. It's time well spent, with each other. Good, bad or ugly! Once his taste started to dissipate, he had to rely on texture to enjoy eating. His quality of life was beginning to diminish. And sadly, he has been dealing with the repercussions of his cancer treatment ever since. We went to visit a couple weeks before he passed and he was different this time. He was ready, and we are glad he is finally at peace and very thankful we were able to say goodbye. We are also thankful for our Aunt Marlene Guion and all of our cousins that have taken care of him down there, not just lately, but the whole 30 years, and we want to express our gratitude and condolences to all of you. We were as prepared as can be, but it still feels like a piece is suddenly missing. We wish nothing but the best for everyone he knew and loved. He is missed already.

He is survived by his son Russell Franco and wife, Tracy Franco, their children; Taylor Franco, Shawna Avila, Genaye Ladousier and Joe Mesa. His son Pete Franco and significant other Lori Dunn and his children; Jordan Herbst, Samantha Moore, Wyatt and Garrett Franco; and his daughter, Nicole Franco.

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Published in Appeal Democrat on Mar. 2, 2014
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