Cover photo for Rita L. Francisco's Obituary
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1966 Rita 2023

Rita L. Francisco

June 12, 1966 — February 25, 2023

Saint Johns


Rita Lee (Buskirk) Francisco passed away in her Jacksonville home on February 25th, surrounded by her loving husband and family.

Rita was born June 12, 1966, in South Haven, Michigan, the daughter of Ronald and Christa Buskirk.  The family continued to grow, with Rita’s four sisters and two brothers.  She attended Trinity Lutheran School and Bangor Public Schools, graduating in the class of 1984.  As a teenager Rita was diagnosed and treated for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.  Rita attended Western Michigan University.

Rita met her husband Carlos Francisco in Jacksonville, Florida.  Rita and Carlos were blessed with the birth of a son, Sumner, in 1992, and another son Jonathan in 1999.  Carlos’ job took the family around the country to Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, California, Pennsylvania, and Georgia, and for a time to Beijing, China, before settling in Jacksonville.

Rita was an active member of Victory Lutheran Church in Jacksonville and an avid supporter of Victory’s preschool.  She was active in online support groups for Hodgkin’s survivors.  Rita’s fighting spirit through a series of health challenges set in play by her Hodgkin’s treatment long ago, was an inspiration to friends and family.

Rita was preceded in death by her mother and father.  She is survived by husband Carlos, sons Sumner (Julie) and Jonathan, sisters Sandie (Chris) Jones, Angie (Steve) Lowder, Heidi Buskirk, and Bonnie Buskirk, brothers Glenn (Melody) Buskirk and Eric (Kim) Buskirk, and many loving nephews and nieces.  Rita was recently delighted to learn that her first grandchild will be born this summer.

By Rita's request, memorials in lieu of flowers may be made to Hodgkin's International.

To order memorial trees in memory of Rita L. Francisco, please visit our tree store.


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