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Frank Espinola, Jr.
Retired MJC ag professor/Merchant Marine veteran
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Frank Espinola, Jr., 91, of Escalon passed away on Tuesday, February 23, in Modesto. He was born December 23, 1918 in Manteca to the late Frank and Maria Espinola. He was an agriculture professor at Modesto Junior College, specializing in poultry, retiring in 1976 after 16 years with MJC. During this time he was proud to have been named Mr. Good Egg by the poultry industry.

A resident of Escalon for the last 25 years, Frank grew up in Manteca and graduated from Manteca High in 1936. He lived in Manteca and Modesto before moving to Escalon.

He proudly served in the United States military as a Merchant Marine during the war. Prior to joining the Merchant Marine, Frank worked at the Manteca Creamery as an ice cream maker, a skill which he used as a refrigeration engineer on board ship during WWII.

Frank’s determination and hard work paid off with a brilliant education. His teaching career began at Oakdale High as a student teacher, from there he went on to teach at Ripon High for 2 years before accepting his position at MJC. He worked a great deal with the international students; both his Portuguese and Spanish came in very handy. Frank knew they were sacrificing a lot for a higher education; in return he opened his heart, home and family to these students that came from around the world.

Frank was an easy going man, amazing and truly loved by all. He had an outgoing personality and loved everyone. His kindness and generosity made everyone he met a dear friend, treating them as if they were family. When Frank wasn’t hard at work he loved traveling. He traveled around the world meeting new people and visiting old students and friends he’d made in Costa Rica, Japan, Columbia, Philippines and countless other countries.

Frank was involved with several organizations; Mother Lode Mineral Society, V.F.W., Sacramento Valley Chapter of the Merchant Marine Veterans, and Port of Stockton Chapter U.S. Merchant Marine Veteran organization. He was the first president of the Port of Stockton chapter and was quite instrumental in the founding of that chapter.

Frank is survived by his loving wife of nearly 70 years, Vivian Espinola, and son, Roger Espinola, both of Escalon. He also leaves behind numerous nieces, nephews and extended family members. Frank was preceded in death by his parents and his 2 siblings.

Arrangements are under the direction of P.L. Fry & Son Funeral Home, 290 North Union Road, Manteca, where his visitation is being held on Wednesday, March 3, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  A Prayer Service will immediately follow at 12:30 p.m. Committal will be at St. John’s Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent in Frank’s name to St. John’s Catholic Cemetery, 17871 S. Carrolton Road, Escalon, CA 95320 or the charity of your choice. An online guest book is available for condolences and special messages to the family at
Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin
Sunday, February 28, 2010