Etta Clanton Nelson Francisco was born July 28, 1920, in Raleigh, North Carolina to Nan and James A. Nelson Sr. After a very full life of one hundred one years, she passed away on Wednesday, August 25, 2021.
Etta was educated in the Atlantic City School system and is a graduate of Atlantic City High School. She attended Morgan State College in Baltimore, Maryland during the Great Depression, majoring in Social Work. It was during that period that her father passed away. Being the eldest of five, Etta had to return to Atlantic City to help her mother with the family.
In the late 1940's, Etta moved to Buffalo, New York. It was there that she made lifelong friendships. She met, fell in love, and married Robert H. Francisco. Together they conceived three children. She put down roots at Lloyd's Memorial United Church of Christ and was a devoted member. She was also a member of the Whirlaway's Bridge Club. In the 1960's, she was hired to work as a Sales Lady at Hens & Kelly's Department Store in Buffalo, making her the first African American to work in the "front-end" of any department store in Western New York. By the late 1960's, Etta was working at the Community Action Organization as a Social Worker. It was there that she assisted mothers who lost their sons in the Attica Prison Uprising.
Etta attended Medaille College where she received a bachelor's degree in Social Work. She was also raising her two grandchildren and was then employed as a Senior Counselor at The Buffalo General Hospital's Community Mental Health Center.
In 1980, Etta moved back to Atlantic City, re-establishing her membership at her childhood church, Asbury United Methodist Church.
Mrs. Francisco found employment as Social Worker with the Atlantic County Welfare Department in Atlantic City and later as a Stenographer for Atlantic County Civil Courts. Etta was a member of Mayor James L. Usry's Campaign and was a Charter and co-founding member of the 101 Women Plus Organization. Etta was a devoted member and absolutely loved the 101 Women Organization and its members.
She is preceded in death by: her husband, Robert H. Francisco; son, Dennis C. Francisco; granddaughter who she raised, Denmari Francisco; siblings, Roselyn Johnson, Jean Campbell, James Nelson Jr. and William Irvin Nelson; and sister-in-law, Kathleen Nelson.
She is survived by: her daughters, Deborah Francisco, and Cynthia Francisco-Spriggs; grandson who she raised as her son, Michael (Sonji); grandsons, Robert (Purene), RaShawn; Hakeem, Karim (Theresa) and Galen; granddaughters, Kendell (Darryl) and Nakia; great-grandchildren, Endreamia, Demarq, Austin, Dylan, Roman, Michael Jr., Aliyah, Amara, Aniyah, Tania, Ishatai, Sharae, Nyree, Ali, Shawn, Brittney, Christopher, Trinity, RaShawn Jr. and Aicha; great great-grandchildren, Maalik, Ny`Asia, Roselyn, Julianna; sister-in-law, Verna Nelson; and a host of extended family.
Funeral services will be 11AM, Friday, September 3, 2021, Asbury United Methodist Church, 1215 Pacific Avenue, Atlantic City, New Jersey, where friends may call from 9AM. Interment to follow in Atlantic City Cemetery, Pleasantville, New Jersey. Arrangements entrusted to Greenidge Funeral Homes, Inc., Atlantic City.