Francis “Paco” W. Gracia

Gracia

Francis “Paco” W. Gracia of Gettysburg went home to his heavenly father while surrounded by many loved ones on Sunday, October 30, 2022. He was 102 years young.

Paco was preceded in death by his loving wife, Mary (Deighan) Gracia; parents Juana and Fermin; and siblings Gertrudis, Eugenia, Benigno, and an infant brother. He leaves behind two devoted daughters, Mary Fran Gracia (Stan) and Kathleen Good (Bernie); four grandchildren, Denis Dowdy (Hannah), Nathan Good, Meghan (Good) Linsenbigler (Jacob), and Zachary Good; and eight great-grandchildren, Miles (8), Olivia (7), Owen (6), Xavier (6), Sophia (4), Oscar (2), Amelia (1), and Connor (7 months); and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was born Francisco Guillermo Sepulveda Gracia on April 2, 1920 in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. He traveled to Washington, D.C. at the age of 20, where he landed a job with the Civil Service Commission. Determined to make a life for himself he quickly moved up the ladder and snagged an interview where he met the love of his life. He famously left that interview and said, “I’m going to marry that girl.” And he did. Together they enjoyed 45 years of marriage before her death in 1994. Till the end he still spoke of her with the utmost love and adoration.

Paco retired from the State Department as a Personnel Director of the Foreign Service after nearly 40 years of dedicated government service. Decades later he still watched the news endlessly to keep up on all the latest state news, though he would gladly break away for his beloved telenovelas.

He was fiercely loyal to his Lord and Savior, a devout member of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church. He found the Lord as a child after following a nun through the streets of Puerto Rico, intrigued by her habit. He has been a faithful servant ever since.

In the mid-nineties, Paco’s Breakfast Club was founded with some of his dearest friends, a group of daily mass goers who would enjoy breakfast after mass every weekday – though their rowdiness would make you second guess if they really just came from daily mass.

Paco thoroughly enjoyed shocking people with his age, his young spirit and appearance a contradiction to the number. When asked how he stayed so young he always answered, “Everything in moderation.” He also loved to perform. If ever you dropped by, you’d often find him singing. He often sang “Oh my Papa, to me you are so wonderful” to his grandchildren, not that they ever needed telling how amazing he was.

He was independent to a fault, living alone, driving to daily mass, grocery shopping, and preparing his own meals till the end.

While he lived an impressive 102 years, it will never be long enough for those who loved him. His family and friends will forever miss his epic laugh, sharp wit, sense of humor, and truly infectious young spirit. Cuidado y vaya con Dios.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held 11 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022 at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, 26 West High St., Gettysburg. Burial will be in St. Francis Cemetery.

The family will receive friends from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022 at the Monahan Funeral Home, 125 Carlisle St., Gettysburg, as well as from 10 a.m. until the time of Mass Thursday at the church. Online condolences may be made at monahanfuneralhome.com.

 

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