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Gary Lyle Franke
October 12, 1945-August 26, 2012

Gary Lyle Franke of Manteca entered into rest at the age of 66, on August 26, 2012 after a battle with prostate cancer.

Gary was born on October 12, 1945 in Muskegon, Michigan. He moved to California in 1976 and later met his wife Rhonda while taking western line dancing classes. They were married in 1988 and recently celebrated 24 years of marriage.

He was a delivery driver for 39 years and retired from Safeway Distribution in 2007. In retirement, he joined the “Nuts-N-Bolts” car club where he made many new friends who helped in restoring his 1966 El Camino. He loved to travel and ventured throughout the Unites States, the Azores, Portugal, France, and Germany. While in Muhlhausen, Germany he walked the streets of his ancestors and gathered family genealogy information. He was a proficient marksman and attended professional firearms training. He and his wife worked hard on their country property “making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear”, and took great pleasure in walks with his two dogs and cat that he called, “the incredible journey”. He also volunteered at the local museum.

Gary was gentle, kind, and giving and valued life and the wonders of nature. He embodied the American spirit and had great love for his country, community, and heritage. He loved to

laugh, which showcased his charming smile, and always had a new joke after which he would explain, “I’ve got a million of ’em.”

Gary is survived by his wife Rhonda Avilla-Franke of Manteca, CA, his son Adam Avilla of San Francisco, CA, his father Lyle Franke of Camino, CA, his sister, Carol and husband Dan Quayle of Camino, his sister, Cheryl and husband Lonnie Bowers of Shelby, MI, his aunt and uncles, Marv and Elaine Franke of Point Reyes, CA, Joanna and Lamar Pendley of Magalia, CA, Marilyn and Dave Boesch of Medford, OR, and Lavern Staples of Shelby, MI. He was preceded in death by his mother Jean Morse and his step mother Ruth Franke.

There will be no services, but there will be a gathering of family and friends Saturday October 6th, 2012. For more information contact In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate the planting of a tree in your own yard or community area or a donation to a charity of your choosing in remembrance of Gary. He will be greatly missed.

Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin

Friday, September 7, 2012