Mario De Francesco III
May 31, 1964 – June 6, 2020
Mario III was born to Mario Jr and Carolyn De Francesco on May 31, 1964 in Gilroy, CA and went home to be with the Lord on June 6, 2020. Mario’s family moved from Gilroy to Firebaugh, CA in 1972, where he grew up and graduated from Firebaugh High School in 1982. He went to college for a couple of years at Fresno City College and Cuesta Junior College but, like his dad, had a love for farming so, in 1985, he went to work in the family’s farming business, De Francesco Brothers. In 1986, as the manager of the family’s farming business, Mario saw an opportunity in the asparagus industry and convinced his dad to move the ranch into growing and packing asparagus for the fresh market. Under his leadership, the business grew and was selling asparagus all across the United States, Europe, and Japan. The AL-MAR label was known as the premier asparagus brand throughout the world. In 2001, the family shut down its farming operation to focus on its food processing business and Mario took over as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for De Francesco & Sons. Mario’s love for people made the transition easy and he quickly developed strong relationships with customers, brokers, and distributors throughout the world. In 2007, Mario got his real estate license and went to work for Pearson Realty where he sold agriculture real estate throughout the Central Valley. Once again, his love for people helped him develop strong relationships and he earned Rookie of the Years honors in 2008. He was Senior Vice President of the Ag Division for Pearson Realty for the remainder of his career. Mario loved his work, but his greatest joy came from spending time with family and friends. He is known for his big smile and boisterous laugh – both of which were never greater than when his home was full of family and friends with a table full of food. Mario was also active in supporting his community – he served on the St. Joseph’s School Board, Firebaugh City Council, and was currently on the board of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. He was actively involved with the Firebaugh Little League and coached youth football. Mario also served on the California Asparagus Commission for 10 years and was an active member of the Dos Palos Y Service Club.
Mario is loved by his family and friends and will be greatly missed and his family takes comfort in knowing he is resting now with his Lord and Savior. Mario was preceded in death by his father, Mario De Francesco Jr. and leaves behind his mom, Carolyn De Francesco, wife Vicki De Francesco, daughters Francesca Panelli and her husband Greg and Giavanna Sorenson and her husband Nolan, son Dominic De Francesco, sister Michelle Cardella and her husband Chris, brothers Frank De Francesco and his wife Sandi, Michael De Francesco, Christopher De Francesco and his wife Linda, nieces Diana Reis and her husband Conlin, Jenna Brinkley and her husband Zach, Kiara McBee and her husband Wyatt, nephews Brian De Francesco and his wife Sasha, Frank De Francesco Jr., Steven Cardella, Christopher De Francesco Jr., Matthew De Francesco, and grandchildren Vincenzo Panelli and Nellie Sorenson with another due in August and five great nieces and nephews.
A celebration of Mario’s life will be held on Friday, June 26, 2020 at 1 PM at 17941 Brannon Avenue (Goodman's Barn) in Dos Palos, California ,93620.
Remembrances may be made in his name to Leukemia and Lymphoma Society 7491 N Remington #101, Fresno CA 93711 or online at https://events.lls.org/pages/cca/mariodefrancesco
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Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
7491 N Remington #101, Fresno CA 93711