Francisco “Panchito” Escalante, 88, born in San Luis Potosí, Mexico and longtime resident of Chicago, passed away May 6, 2020. Beloved husband of the late Maria, nee Torres; loving father of Juan Francisco (the late Patricia Ann Cruz) Escalante, Maria Lourdes Gonzalez Escalante, Felipe de Jesus Escalante, Martha Esthela (Joao Carlos) Cardoso and Juanita (Gilberto) Lopez and dear father in law of the late Mark Culbertson; cherished grandfather of Carlos (Monica) Montemayor, Lourdes (Cesar) Ramirez, Rocio (Rudy) Flores, Francisco Xavier “Paco” Culbertson, Paola Dani Lopez, Erica Salud Cruz Escalante, Leonardo Lopez, Clarisa Crystal Culbertson, Evelyn Maria Escalante, Franchesca “Panchita” Lopez, Fabian Lopez, Sebastian Lopez, America Lopez and the late Marcos Isaiah Culbertson; proud great grandfather of Scarlett Montemayor, Luc A. Ramirez, Amelia Sofia Flores and Joaquin August Flores; dearest brother of Maria de Los Angeles Escalante Ruiz (the late Augustine) Bernal, Maria Socorro “Coco” Escalante Ruiz (J. Jesus) Torres de Leon, Concepcion “Conchita” Escalante Ruiz, Gerardo (Rosario Martinez Castellanos) Escalante Ruiz and the late Salustia Escalante (Celestino) Solis Aleman; fond uncle of many nieces and nephews.
Panchito studied accounting in Mexico before migrating to the United States in his 30’s with his wife and family. His Tio Pablo Escalante was instrumental in helping the family settle by opening up his home and helping to support Panchito and his family. Soon the family outgrew Tio Pablo’s home and Panchito’s querido amigo compadre, Hipolito Gomez, welcomed the family into his home where Panchito enjoyed many hours of listening to his favorite Trios music that the talented compadre Hipolito and sons played. Tio Pablo and compadre Hipolito were wonderful advocates for the family and helped guide them to purchase their first home that Panchito lived in for the remainder of his days.
Panchito found work at Rock Island where he inspected railroad tracks and managed derailments for many years until his retirement. After retirement, he took on another job and enjoyed working at Bill’s Dry Wall for many more years where he was known as “Pops”. A natural born athlete, Panchito loved to play and watch soccer and baseball. One of his favorite pastimes was dancing with his wife and he is surely dancing with her now in heaven. Panchito was a magnificent storyteller. He frequently reminisced about the past, sharing his stories, memories and lessons with his family in the most colorful way. He also took great delight in watching El Chavo Del Ocho, going out to eat and grocery shopping. His trips to the grocery store entailed a few hours of traveling to several stores to secure a few sale items at each, with his favorite store being Mariano’s, aka “Marranos”.
Panchito was a strict but supportive parent and invariably maintained his upbeat and positive disposition. He always found a silver lining and even during his most challenging times was able to bury and move forward. Panchito’s greatest joy was his family. He was extremely proud of his children and grandchildren. Panchito was a kind and sweet man who was deeply loved. He will be profoundly missed and never forgotten.
A Memorial Mass will be celebrated in memory of Francisco “Panchito” when it is safe to gather post-pandemic. Interment will be private at St. Benedict Cemetery.
A GoFundMe page has been created by daughter, Juanita Lopez Escalante. The family appreciates and is thankful for all of your support during this time.
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