Francisco Jose Avila was born in Mexico City, Mexico. He was the second oldest of Jose and Catalina’s 5 children.
He is survived by his wife Sofia (married 59 years) and all his 6 children: Francisco, Jose, Octavio, Sofia, Eduardo and Antonio, their spouses, 29 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren.
Francisco, affectionately called “Jefazo” (which translated means “big or top boss”) by his family, was a kind hearted, loving son, brother, husband and father whose service and sacrifices extended beyond immediate family members. He was a beloved bishop to his ward members in Fort Lauderdale, FL and touched many souls while serving as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints with his faithful wife to the people of Puebla, Mexico.
If there are two words to describe how Jefazo lived his life they would be “unconventionally intentional”. From buying cows so his first born could have fresh milk to starting his own small country club for his kids because he felt the local country club “charged too much.” Yes, some of his decisions made for movie content that even Cantinflas couldn’t come up with.
He lived life to the fullest. He was not afraid of failure nor of taking risks. Once he made up his mind about something, there was no swaying him. If he failed at something, he failed in style. “Do it well, or don’t do it at all,” he would say.
We feel he would have been a millionaire had he written books on how NOT to manage your finances, how NOT to run a business and how NOT to spot a lemon (car) but best of all, how TO love your family.
Through all his imperfections, his intentions were all singularly motivated by the love he had for his family whom he treated all equally. Words didn’t have to be expressed to feel of his warmth and love.
No sacrifice was too big for his family. He left behind a professional and political world of prestige in Mexico to give his children a better future and more opportunities offered in the United States.
He was not able to fully exercise his profession as a mechanical engineer and never attained the same financial success here but that never was his priority. He was content working as a custodian or taking care of the elderly knowing his children would benefit from his sacrifices.
He went against his parents wishes of postponing marriage to marry the love of his life, Sofia aka “Jechu” (short for “Jefacita Chula” which translated means “Pretty Little Boss”), to start his family. He went against long standing cultural and religious traditions to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints while as a young father. His convictions, example of discipleship and testimony were strong until his last breath. It’s no wonder one of his favorite songs was “My Way” by Frank Sinatra.
He beat throat cancer in 1998 and although the after effects caused swallowing problems afterwards, it didn’t stop him from enjoying one of his life’s most treasured passions; eating. A palate, joy and tradition passed on to his children. For his struggles, there was little mention of complaints nor did he become bitter.
He died satisfied in knowing he gave it his all to provide the best life for his family. Like Paul in the New Testament, he “fought the good fight.”
We who are left behind, are satisfied in knowing he is in a better place, free of pain, reunited with loved ones that have passed on and that someday soon we will see him again.
We love you Jefazo, we will strive to be as good a parent as you were to us. Thank you for all the cherished memories, loving counsel, traditions, “detalles”, example and for showing us how to live intentionally. We miss you but look forward to one day receiving your welcoming heavenly hug. Te queremos mucho Jefazo, nos vemos pronto.
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