Franco “Papa” Almeida 72 years old of Belleview, FL passed away surrounded by family and went to be with Jesus on Wednesday, September 13, 2023.
Franco was born in Hackensak, NJ on April 10, 1951 to Francisco and Hada Almeida. The family moved to Belleview, FL in 1958. He attended grade school in Belleview and was a member of the graduating class of 1969 at Lake Weir High-School where he played baseball and football. He proudly served his country in the United States Marine Corps. Franco was very active in the local community of Belleview, baseball and softball coaching his daughter Leah and so many other kids from T-Ball through high school. He raised his 4 children on his 35 acre farm where he also hosted the Timberline Corn Maze Festival for many years. Franco loved his children and grandchildren very much and was blessed to be “Papa” to many others through his coaching and festivals. Through his festivals he was able to help support and donate to local food banks, veterans organizations and to the literacy fund at the Marion County Juvenile Justice Center where he sat as a board member for years. He was a lover of his family, the outdoors, hunting, fishing, wine making & horticulture. He enjoyed having his dogs on the farm with him and loved his cows. He was a true Florida Gator fan no matter how the season was for them. In his career in the construction industry he had a part in the local and county community development. His faith in Jesus was very important to him and was always willing to pray and share it with others. Franco was a good man and a well loved man who will be missed.
Franco is survived by his daughters Leah Racheal Almeida, Sarah Esther Dennis (Husband Biff), his sons Francisco Franco Harmon Almeida and Franco Elijah Richard Almeida. He had 5 grandchildren Elijah, Dorian, Emilia Grace, Sayler and Clayton and 1 great grandson Evan.
He is also survived by his siblings Frank Jr. (Wife Kathy), Francois, Francine and Manny.
Franco was preceeded in death by his parents.
The family will receive friends for a viewing at Hiers-Baxley Funeral Services, 5946 SE Robinson Road, Belleview, FL 34420 on Friday, September 22, 2023, from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM.
A funeral/memorial service will be at Celebration Church, 12404 SE 112th Avenue Rd, Belleview, FL 34420 on Saturday, September 23, 2023 at 10:00 am. Graveside Interment will follow the funeral/memorial at Highland Memorial Park, with Military graveside service at 1515 NE 3rd Street, Ocala, FL 34470.