Francisca Gunn, 90, passed away peacefully on Feb. 19, 2019, in the company of her loving family. Francisca was born Nov. 9, 1928, in the beautiful city of Palma, situated on the Balearic Island of Mallorca in the Mediterranean Sea.
Francisca survived both the Spanish Civil War and later WWII during which she learned seven languages during her stay at a boarding school and convent run by English nuns. She flew as a stewardess for Iberia Airlines, helped her father in his bakeries and taught Spanish for foreigners. She met her future husband, Robert Gunn (d. 2001) teaching him Spanish. They married in Mallorca.
They moved to Venezuela where Robert worked for Mobil Oil and Francisca taught languages for three years. Together they moved to Berkeley, California, where Francisca put Robert through his Ph.D. studies in chemical engineering by waiting tables.
Robert’s first teaching position was at the University of Texas in Austin and where they made the decision to adopt two lucky orphans, Cedric and Alicia, into their family. In 1971, the family moved to the University of Wyoming for Robert’s next and final teaching position.
Francisca volunteered with the Goodwill stores, the lunch programs and with animals while raising her children. She loved going for walks daily and often five or six dogs would follow her home sensing the kind soul that she was.
In 1982, the family did a sabbatical year in Aachen, Germany, where Francisca’s superb language skill once again came in handy during our extensive travels. Robert and Francisca retired to St George, Utah, in 1996 where she lived until she could no longer be on her own. In 2015, she came to live with her son, Cedric, due to dementia complications and stayed in Salt Lake City until death.
She is survived by her son Cedric Gunn, Salt Lake City; her daughter Alesandra Alica Gunn, Ocala, Florida; and grandchildren Crystal, Destiny and Zachary.
Francisca’s patron saint was St. Francis of Assisi, the guardian of animals. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her name to the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah.
The family wishes to extend a special thank you to Father Joshua of the St. Ambrose parish and to Intermountain Homecare and Hospice who were a wonderful resource in Francisca’s final days.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Metcalf Mortuary, 435-673-4221.
For condolences, full obituary and funeral listings please visit Metcalf Mortuary online.