Dolores B Franco

August 28, 1921 ~ March 23, 2022 (age 100)


Dolores B. Franco was born on August 28,1921, in Portland, Maine. She was the daughter of Roland and Margaret L. Buck. She was a graduate of South Portland High School, Class of 1939. She was the Valedictorian at the graduation. After high school she went to Gordon College of Theology and Missions. While studying there, she worked at Boston Baptist Bethel Church in the north end of Boston teaching Christian Education. In 1943 she graduated with a BA in Theology and was elected to Phi Alpha Chi, Gordon’s Honor Society. After graduating she worked for a couple of years in Springfield, Vermont. She worked for the Women’s American Baptist Home Mission Society, which is now part of American Baptist Home Missions.  After working in Springfield, Dolores went to Brooklyn, N.Y. to work at Borough Park Italian Baptist Church. In 1948 she married Reverend Salvatore Silvestri, the pastor of the church. They had four children: Salvatore, Lois, Faith, and Paul. Upon the death of her husband in 1956, Dolores went to serve as the pastor’s assistant at the Church of St. John the Baptist in the Bronx, under the auspices of the American Baptist Churches of Metropolitan New York. In 1957 the American Baptist Churches commissioned her as a Home Missionary. In November 1961 she was married to Vincent Franco, a widower with two children, Frederick, and Adrienne. Mr. Franco was a chemist for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. They moved with their six children to the North Bronx. They legally adopted each other’s children. They became members of Grace Baptist Church and served on the Board of Deacons and taught Sunday School. Dolores also sang in the choir. When Mr. Franco retired, they moved to Mount Vernon, N.Y. They became active members of First Baptist Church of Bronxville. Their work included teaching Sunday School and being on various boards of the church. Dolores sang in the choir from time to time. After moving to New Windsor, N.Y., they became active members of Mouton Memorial Baptist Church. In 2016, Dolores rejoined First Baptist Church of Bronxville. Dolores Franco served several terms as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Baptist Churches of Metropolitan New York, serving as secretary for a few years. She also served on the Board of the Metropolitan Baptist Camps. She served on the Board of Managers of the Baptist Home for the Aged in the Bronx for many years. Dolores was predeceased by Frederick Franco in September of 1989, Vincent Franco in May of 1998, and her sister, Wilma Gouzie in 2003.           She is survived by her five children, Adrienne Franco, Salvatore Silvestri Franco, Lois Margaret Silvestri, Faith Ponterotto (Louis), and Paul Franco, and five grandchildren: Jean Sebastien Franco (Stephanie), Michael Ponterotto (Grace), Lia Ponterotto, Amanda Franco, and Christopher Franco. She is also survived by two great grandchildren, Nathan and Lilian Franco.Her younger sister, Elizabeth Verrill (Merton) resides in Gorham, Maine. Her younger brother, Jonathan (Melany) live in Cebu, Philippines. She is also survived by several nieces, nephews, and grandnieces and grandnephews.

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