Remembering Francisco del Granado, SIU Law Class of 2010
December 11, 2014
Francisco's parents and brother traveled to SIU in August to donate Francisco's personal collection of books to the Law Library. While here they spoke with Professor Cindy Buys who worked with Francisco in the Immigration Detention Project.
On what would have been Francisco del Granado's 39th birthday, SIU Law remembers a graduate who made the most of a life that was cut short.
“We are always sad to lose a member of the SIU Law family, but it is especially difficult to lose someone so young," said Dean Cynthia Fountaine. "We are grateful to Francisco’s family for remembering the law school with their donation to our library.”
From his family:
Francisco passed away unexpectedly in an accident while on holiday in Bolivia, on Thursday, December 31, 2013. He had just celebrated his 38th birthday on Dec. 11.
Survivors include his parents, Félix Alfonso del Granado and María de la Gloria (Rivero) de Granado; his brother, Juan Javier and wife Rosa Luz, his two nieces, María José and María Fernanda, and his brother, Alfonso and wife Silvia.
Francisco was a vibrant young attorney who loved his family and his friends with a deeply felt passion. He filled his days with meaningful work and relationships, making a great impact on the world and all who knew him.
Francisco lived life to the fullest on his own terms. Francisco's personal interests were many and varied; he brought passion, insight and intellectual curiosity to everything he took on. Some of his favorite activities were taking walks, saving antiques and collectibles, travelling, and playing with his beloved cat, Aquiles. He was well-known for having an open heart, open door, and open arms.
It is clear that helping other people was important to Francisco, and it is clear, too, where he got his commitment to serve others. His second great uncle and namesake, the Venerable Francisco María del Granado, had been a saintly 19th century bishop, who spent a lifetime serving the poor and Native American communities. His fourth great grandfather, the 1st Count of Cotoca, had been a Spanish nobleman and physician, who at the beginning of the 19th century traveled through some of the most remote regions of South America where epidemics were raging, to inoculate Native Americans with the vaccine recently discovered by Edward Jenner and prevent the spread of smallpox, that most feared and dangerous disease which had before decimated Native Americans after the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors.
Francisco's life was defined by making a difference and he did so in many ways. At a time in his life when most young people are busily preparing for careers, Francisco visited Bolivia to work in programs to help people in that South American country. There, he worked alongside his uncle, Bolivian president Gonzalo Sánchez de Losada, during his administration, and befriended Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori. His greatest accomplishment and what Francisco was most proud of was having saved a USAID program called “Breakfasts for Children.” This program contributed five bolivianos (about one US dollar) a day for each Bolivian student to provide them with milk and bread in the morning and soup with bread at noon.
While at SIU School of Law, he was awarded the Pro Bono Award for his work with the Immigration Detention Project. After graduating, he moved back to Bolivia. There, he served as president and founder of Fundacion San Pedro El Castillo. Francisco spent his last few days on earth distributing Christmas gifts to impoverished Native American children.
Remembrances from Classmates:
"Francisco was a very dear friend to many of his classmates and was always willing to lend a hand to anyone in need. One of my fondest memories of Francisco was his ability to turn any situation into a positive outcome with his kind heart. While in law school Francisco had a passion for international law. His mother’s family was from Bolivia so he would love to travel and was so proud to share his family history with his friends. He could speak multiple languages and had met many dignitaries throughout his life including Presidents, Kings and celebrities."
Julie A. Solliday, Class of 2009
“Francisco was a wonderful gentleman, the type of person that became your friend from the first day you met him. He certainly became mine. I will always remember his as a gentleman and a wonderful friend.”
Igor Grichanik, Class of 2009
“I had great respect for Francisco. He was a very kind man. He brought diversity and a different point of view to our class. I enjoyed our debates and learned more from our competitions than I would have otherwise. He was incredibly smart, had a quick wit, and was a fun individual. I’m saddened to hear of his passing.”
David A. Zipp, Class of 2010
"We only had one or two courses together, but he did make a very positive impression on me. He always had a great attitude about life in general and didn't let the stress of school bog him down. I am very sorry for his family's loss."
Andrea Taylor, Class of 2010
To see more photos of Fransisco or to share a remembrance with his family, visit this memorial Facebook page.