Donna Marie FRANCO
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Donna Marie FRANCO
  • June 6, 1944 - May 6, 2017
  • Bellevue, Nebraska

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Kahler Dolce Mortuary

441 North Washington Street
Papillion, NE 68046
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Donna (Klinkner) Franco was born in Grafton, North Dakota. While she was in grade school, her family moved to Yankton, South Dakota. After high school she moved to California where she met and married George Franco in 1977. The couple enjoyed the California lifestyle, especially hiking and camping in the nearby mountains with George's children, Katie and Michael. Sadly, George was killed in a truck accident just three years after they were married. Donna remained in Beaumont, CA where she worked and retired from Alpha Beta stores (now called Ralph's) after working there for more than 40 years.
Donna joined the Beaumont Chamber of Commerce as a volunteer, organized the first Miss Beaumont and Cherry Valley Pageant, and served on the Beaumont Parks and Recreation Board for 16 years. Her contributions were so impactful and the park facilities so improved that a beautiful rose garden with a waterfall and fountains was created and named "Franco Rose Garden," in her honor. She helped start a Winter Wish fund used to buy clothing and toys for children of seasonal workers to came for the cherry harvest. During her 40 years in Beaumont, she watched the town thrive and the population grow from 5,000 to 35,000, in part because of her many contributions. The community honored her as "Citizen of the Year" after she retired, and she also received the Cherry Festival Heritage Award.
She recently moved to Nebraska to live closer to family, and passed away May 6, 2017 in Bellevue.
Donna is survived by her brother, Duane Klinkner of Castle Rock, CO; sister, Glenda "Tudy" (Ron) Doering of Plattsmouth, NE; nephews Chris (Beth) Doering of Bellevue, NE and Jeffery (Wendy) Klinkner of Monument, CO. She was preceded in death by her husband, George; step-children, Michael Franco and Katie Conner; and one step-grandchild.
Memorial services to be held at a later date in Beaumont, CA. Memorials suggested to the Franco Gardens at Noble Creek Park, 390 Oak Valley Pkwy, Beaumont, CA 92223 (951) 845-9555.

Arrangements under the direction of Kahler Dolce Mortuary, Papillion, NE.