William (Bill) Franchina went to be with the Lord on May 3, 2020 at the age of 87. Bill was born in Cleveland, Ohio on August 24, 1932. There he developed a great love for baseball and automobile racing. In the 1950’s and 60’s he, his parents and brother would travel track to track watching the racing legends like Nelson Stacy, Fireball Roberts and Fred Lorenzen. In the early 60’s, after attending the first races at the Daytona International Speedway he and his family relocated to the Daytona Beach area. Bill loved his Fords and Ford drivers especially David Pearson and Bill Elliott. He spent many hours rehashing the last lap close finishes of David Pearson and Richard Petty.
Bill grew up playing baseball and actually tried out for St. Louis Cardinals. He loved the Cleveland Indians and later the Atlanta Braves. Maybe with another fan in heaven they’ll have a better chance to win the pennant this year!
Bill was also a huge Model train enthusiast. He loved trains and train stations. He had the ability to look at a photograph and re-create a perfect train station replica in balsa wood. His talent was recognized by several Chamber of Commerce offices for the replicas done of their cities train stations, including the old historic train depot in Daytona Beach that was torn down in the early 1970s.
As a father, Bill kept a watchful eye on his daughter Tracy. Those close to the family would know his car and horn honk as he was always close by making sure she was ok. His God daughter and first cousin, Rosemary, was always very special to him. He often said he loved her like a daughter and kept a close “watch” on her by phone. He also held a special place in his heart for the Costanza family and enjoyed the days he would call Sal to tell him Pavarotti was on TV.
Bill attended St. Paul’s Catholic Church for many years and was an usher at the Saturday evening vigil masses. After a fall in 2017, he became bedridden and was confined to his home. He was blessed with many wonderful home health caregivers that made his daily routine special.
As he anxiously awaited the restart of the NASCAR season, he must have heard the greats were still racing in heaven and couldn’t wait to get front row seats with his family and friends are that are already there. Bill is survived by his daughter Tracy Costanza (Al), granddaughter Venerina, and God daughter Rosemary Koziara (Ed). He is also survived by his greatest joy, his two cats Mrs and Yellow Kitty.
He was preceded in death by his parents Sam and Jennie Franchina, and brother Don Franchina.
A graveside burial service will be held Tuesday, May 12, 2020, 10:00 am. at Woodland Cemetery, Port Orange, Florida. Memorial contributions may be made to a special Go Fund Me set up to help with burial expenses. Go Fund Me https://www.gofundme.com/f/nhfpe-memorial-fund?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link-tip&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet
Arrangements are under the care of Alavon Cremation Service, New Smyrna Beach.