Francisco Gomez Hernandez was born on March 9, 1935 in Woodland Hills, California and passed away February 22, 2022, in Simi Valley, California. The son of the late Damacio and Domitila Hernandez, he was the tenth of thirteen children.
As a teenager growing up in Canoga Park, Frank worked on his family farm and had other jobs, such as a pin boy at the local bowling alley and as a golf caddy. He worked at General Motors for a brief time with his brother and was in the construction union for 22 years. He found work in welding in the 1970's and aside from it being his livelihood, he became an artisan, creating beautiful wrought iron fences, household gadgets and insect sculptures.
Through his brother, Lucio, he met his future wife, Patricia Kussman. Frank and Pat married in 1955. They decided to move to Chicago with their children, but due to circumstances they settled in Wichita, Kansas, where unfortunately, they lost Francisco William, their first-born son at 9 months old to a viral infection. They eventually returned to Canoga Park to raise their family at their home on Sherman Way. It's there that for 6 years Frank and Patricia shared many good times and adventures, especially; riding horses, swimming in the pool that he built, bike rides with Pat, Uncle Drigo and Aunt Toni, and much more. In 1969, they moved to Simi Valley to start another new adventure, make more memories and extend their family.
Frank enjoyed collecting antiques, such as lanterns, flags, and coins. On Sunday mornings, he was often at the Saugus Swap Meet with his family to find more treasures. He loved playing musical instruments. He was self-taught on the guitar, harmonica, piano, and the Jew's harp. He liked gold dredging in the Hard Luck Campground in Gorman, shooting in the back canyons of Calico Ghost Town, gambling in Laughlin, dirt bike riding in the desert, and he joined his family on many rafting trips down the Kern and Truckee rivers, even though swimming was not one of his strongest suits. His favorite pastimes were hiking the Rocky Peak Mountains, watching western movies, sitting outside soaking up the sun while listening to country music and mingling with his neighbors while riding his tricycle. His special place was the Painted Desert of Arizona where he always wanted to return.
After retiring and the passing of his wife of 67 years, Frank became a neighborhood celebrity riding his tricycle, while wearing his signature black hat, his boombox playing country music, his large American flag waving and soda sleeve disguising a Bud Light.
Frank's dedication to his family has given them the most cherished memories of their childhood and stories of his life experiences will be shared for all time. His ALS diagnosis did not diminish his spirit and never once did he complain.
He is survived by his son, William Francisco Hernandez, daughters; Constance Elaine Gillmore, Linda Louan Burns, Tila Marie Manzi, Laura Lisa Newell, Teresa Ann Shanahan, Elena Marie Adargo and many more grandchildren and great grandchildren. Along with his wife Patricia, he is predeceased by his infant son Francisco William Hernandez and daughter Debra Kay Pearson.
The memorial will be held at Reardon Simi Valley Funeral Home at 2636 Sycamore Drive, Simi Valley, CA on Monday, March 7, 2022, at 5:00 to 9:00 PM.
The Rosary will begin at 7:00 PM. The following morning, March 8, a Mass Service will begin at 11:00 AM at the St. Mary The Virgin Pioneer Church located at Oakwood Memorial, 22601 Lassen Street, Chatsworth, CA, immediately followed by a graveside service.