Maldonado family faces double losses: Carmen G. and Nancy Franco Maldonado


Nancy Franco Maldonado

While Roberto Maldonado, Chicago's 26th Ward Alderman, was at the funeral of his mother Carmen G. Maldonado on Dec. 23, his wife Nancy Franco Maldonado, 46, was in the hospital battling pancreatic cancer. She succumbed on Dec. 29. 

This double loss for the Alderman and their three children Rene, Roberto Jr. and Raquel has the hearts of many in the community, as well as those who are part of Maternity BVM Church, 3647 W. North Ave., filled with sorrow. 

"Particularly at this time of the year, the family will tie this season to their loss for the rest of their lives," have been the words expressed by many who know the Franco and Maldonado families. 

Diagnosed just before Thanksgiving, Nancy's illness eluded detection, as pancreatic cancer often does. "We are establishing a fund with the Pancreatic Foundation in her honor," said Roberto in a phone conversation this afternoon. "Our two eldest, Rene and Roberto, have, on their own, come up with designs in honor of their mother in these efforts. 


The Maldonado Family (frnt row): Nancy, Roberto, Raquel (bk row): Rene and Roberto Jr.

"Though she said that she was not into politics, she was the ultimate politician. She was astutely in tune with the Ward. She gave me the idea to name Humboldt Park library for Congressman Luis V. Gutiérrez and encouraged me to name the Hispanic Housing Senior building after the Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar López Rivera. He has been in prison for 38 years and she knew him as a child." 

The daughter of Felicita Montañez and Hector Franco, Nancy was born into a family of community activists, said the official news release, "Very early in her life, she developed a deep devotion to her Puerto Rican heritage and to her community. She was always aware of the importance of critical space in community building and wanted to insure that the community’s historical memory was inscribed in the 26th Ward." 

It is reported that she encouraged people to invest in buying homes in the area. As a result of these efforts, many young Latinos are now homeowners in Humboldt Park. This was a way for her to make sure that these young people would not only claim space, but also be part of giving back to their community. 

Roberto and Nancy were married at Maternity BVM Church by Father Tom Pelton in June 2006. Former BVM pastor Rev. Kevin Birmingham, who was appointed by Chicago's Archbishop Blase J. Cupich as Administrative Secretary in November 2014, will conduct Nancy's funeral service. 

Visitation is at Alvarez Funeral Home, 2500 N. Cicero, on Wed., Jan. 6, from 4 to 9 p.m. The funeral will be at Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM) Church, 3647 W. North Ave., Thurs., Jan. 7, at 9:30 a.m.

Photos courtesy of Roberto Maldonado


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