JoAnne Ruth (Smith) Francisco - Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Homes & Crematory

JoAnne Ruth (Smith) Francisco

November 7, 1936 - February 4, 2024

JoAnne Ruth (Smith) Francisco, age 87, of Wilmington, DE, passed away peacefully on Sunday, February 4, 2024, with her beloved husband of 69 years holding her hand.

Born in Wilmington, DE on November 7, 1936, she was the daughter of the late Joseph Robert Smith and Marie (McElroy) Sowden. JoAnne dedicated her life to her family as a talented homemaker.

JoAnne enjoyed spending her time raising her children, and later her grandson, as well as caring for her brothers. She took great pride in maintaining her immaculate home. JoAnne could often be found in the kitchen cooking a delicious meal for her loved ones. Most of all, she will always be remembered for being the affectionate matriarch of the family.

In addition to her parents, JoAnne was preceded in death by her children, Susan M. Francisco, Joseph R. Francisco, Sr., and Richard V. Francisco, Jr.; grandson, Joseph R. Francisco, Jr.; and brother, Jeffrey D. Sowden. She is survived by her loving husband, Richard V. Francisco, Sr.; son, William A. Francisco; grandchildren, Richard V. Francisco III, Kristin M. Andrews (Roger), Jonathan P. Francisco (Julieta), William A. Francisco, Thomas J. Francisco, Kathryn J. Francisco, Nicole C. Bolen (William), Alexander X. Francisco, Jacob V. Francisco, Taylor R. Haas (Casey), and William A. Francisco, Jr.; 12 great-grandchildren; daughters-in-law, Donna L. Francisco, and Tina M. Votta; brother, Edward C. “Duke” Sowden (Pam); and her caregivers of 4 years, Jeanne Deal and Diana Chandler.

The Francisco family would like to extend a special thank you to the doctors and nurses at AccentCare Hospice for their compassion and care.

A visitation for family and friends will be held from 10 am until 11 am on Wednesday, February 14, 2024, at Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home, 121 West Park Place, Newark, DE, where a funeral service will begin at 11 am. Interment will follow in Brandywine Baptist Church Cemetery, 1463 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford, PA.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in JoAnne’s memory to the Parkinson’s Foundation, 200 SE 1st Street, Suite 800, Miami, FL 33131 or online by clicking here, or to AccentCare Hospice, 17855 North Dallas Parkway, Suite 200, Dallas, TX 75287 or online by clicking here.


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7 Condolences for JoAnne Ruth (Smith) Francisco

  • Joanne will be missed by many . Keeping you all in our warmest thoughts and prayers as you all navigate this difficult time .
    Dale and Judy ,Michele and Joe McElroy

  • Joanne was an amazing person. The kind of friend everyone wishes they had. She made life look easy, always there when needed, with a smile and words of comfort. She had a calm demeanor, a sense of humor and genuine love for family and friends. Even in the final days of her life, a faint smile or twinkle let you know she loved you. It is an honor to call Joanne Francisco my friend.

  • Dear Richie,
    I am sorry for your loss. JoAnne was a special beautiful person who I thought about often. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Jackie Young

  • Aunt Joanne will always be remembered for her kindness, and many talents. She was a very smart, capable and elegant person who sacrificed for many and asked little in return. I recall many days enjoying her culinary talents, swimming in the pool or vacationing at the beach. Aunt Joanne had a great sense of humor and we laughed often. She took care of her parents, uncle jack and anyone in need. She endured many tragedies in life, some of which I believe contributed to her health issues. I am saddened to learn of her passing, but know she is in paradise, no longer suffering. Uncle Richard and the caregivers provided great cared and support for Aunt Joanne and I’m sure she is grateful for your selflessness. With Love, TD

  • Rich, Sorry to hear. I understand this was a trying time for your family and hope you all can find peace.

  • So sorry to hear of your loss. Praying that you find comfort in remembering the good times you shared during your 69 years together.

  • Richard: So sorry for your loss. Keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. May JoAnne rest in peace.
    Mary Cofrancesco DiVirgilio