James Patrick Franco, a fourth generation Napan, died December 7 after a valiant battle with cancer and other ailments. Born on St. Patrick’s day, 1940, Jim attended St. John’s Catholic School, Ridgeview, and Napa High, graduating in 1958. Jim was an outstanding 3-sport athlete in his youth, and excelled at football at Napa High, Napa JC, and Fresno State. Returning to Napa, Jim learned the butcher trade under the direction of his father, John, at Franco’s Market in Westwood. Before there any youth leagues, Jim spent his early years coaching football for elementary school boys in the fall, transporting them to Memorial Stadium every Saturday in ‘Tanny’, the family ‘51 Plymouth. After starring for Stornett’s Dairy fast-pitch softball team, Jim coached the Native Sons and Oddfellows teams, and Jim and Lynn managed the Oddfellows Mt. George pool and hall for many years. Jim was the defensive coordinator at Vintage High from 1973 through 1979 for Burl Autry, dominating the MEL and reaching the Section finals in 1978. Jim joined his brother, Les, at Napa High in 1979, and later coached at Napa JC. Jim was always a mentor, counseling teens in the ‘Green Room’ in the basement of his parent’s home on South Hartson St. Jim married Lynda York in 1966 and had three daughters, Debbie, Deniece, and Dejean, moving the family to Springfield, Missouri in 1982. He was a prolific writer and philosopher, and enjoyed his time as a gentleman farmer. He will always be remembered by his family and friends as a very special person. Jim was predeceased by his father, John, mother, Eleanor, and daughter, Deniece, and is survived by his wife, Lynda, daughters Debbie and Dejean (husband Tony O’Bryan), grandkids Sean (wife, Tiffany), Nathan, Alec, Daylen, Jared, and Jessica, great grandson, Flyn, and brothers Ross (Suzanne), Les (Marsha), Vic (Barbara), and Bob (Angela). The family will hold a memorial for Jim at a time to be determined. To honor his memory, consider a contribution to St. John’s Catholic School here in Napa.