Donald J. Francisco, 82, Granby, died Nov. 1, 2012, at Mercy Hospital in Joplin, following a two year illness.
Don was born Sept. 14, 1930, on the family farm, east of Goodman between the community of Erie and McNatt. He attended a one room school from 1937-1942 and moved with his family to Southwest City where they lived until 1950, when they returned to the area after Camp Crowder was closed.
As a teenager, he went to Kansas to work in the wheat harvest and also worked with his father in his shoe repair shop. Don received a war time draft notice and enlisted in the Navy. His first station to serve was in Guam and during his twenty years in the Navy, he served on five different ships, a AKA, AO, DD, APA and ARE.
He served as command services force Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor and retired from the Navy as a Chief Petty Officer in 1972 and returned to Missouri.
He worked for the Goodman School District as a bus driver and for the Anderson-McDonald County school district as a bus driver.
He was a member of the VFW and a Baptist.
Don worked part-time in the Goodman area until 2005, at which time he and his wife, Billie Jo, moved to Granby due to failing health of Billie.
Don and Billie were married in 1974 and she precedes Don in death in Dec., 2010.
Don is survived by six children, Patty Kelly, Granby; Ronald Francisco, Crystal Lake, Ill.; David Francisco, Fernley, Nev.; Bruce Ballard, Sparks, Nev.; Tom Bowers, Neosho and Mike Bowers, Granby; six brothers, Ted Francisco and wife, Gladys, Mt. Vernon; John Francisco and wife, Barbara, Neosho; Cecil Francisco and wife, Kazuko, Neosho; Bill Francisco and wife, Sue, Poulsbo, Wash.; Jack Francisco and wife, Nancy, La Mesa, Calif.; Clark Francisco and wife, Linda, Neosho; two sisters, Ella Lankford, Seneca and Linda Borushaski and husband, Dan, Aurora; numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.
In addition to his wife, Billie and parents, he is preceded in death by a brother, C.G. Francisco; a sister, June Wise, and stillborn brother.
Graveside services will be on Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, at 11 a.m. at New Salem Cemetery. Dr. Jerry Seigel will officiate.
The family will receive friends at the funeral home prior to the graveside services from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American Lung Association c/o Clark Funeral Home P.O. Box 66 Neosho, 64850
Arrangements are under the direction of Clark Funeral Home, Neosho.
Online condolences may be posted at www.clarkfuneralhomes.com