Francisco Villegas

December 3, 1931 ~ May 19, 2018 (age 86)

Francisco Jairo Villegas, Frank, died May 19, 2018 at his home in Orlando.

 Born in Medellin, Colombia, he came to the US on a 2-week tour which was a high school graduation gift from his mother. He stayed for 9 years. He worked and attended St. Ambrose College in Davenport, Iowa. Some years later, at the University of Missouri, he earned a B.S. in Agronomy. He was later recognized with an AID scholarship to receive his PhD, which he did, at the University of Missouri. For 25 years he was a professor at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Medellin, Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias, Sede Medellin. At the 50th anniversary of the Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias, he was honored at a ceremony where he and his best friend Lucio Rodriguez were declared to be “men of great vision and commitment to the nation. Their efforts to expand the study of zootechnia influenced not only Colombia but all of Latin America.”

The scholarship brought the whole family back to the United States, to Columbia, Missouri. His wife Penny earned her Master’s degree at MU, which she has used in her 30 years as professor at Valencia College. The children began to learn about life in the states where they have built their lives. Thomas, the oldest lives with his wife Melanie in Tennessee and works on his farm in the Tennessee plateau. William, better known as Bill, is married to Robin and has his own construction company. David is a recognized third grade teacher whose students excel. Cristina, mother of two, married to Dean Kowal, is a dental hygienist. Frank is grandfather to 6 and great-grandfather to 7 who will follow the strong path of his legacy.

The funeral will be held at Collison Family Funeral Home  Thursday May 24 at 4:30.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Feeding America Food Bank.

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