Charles “Charlie” Flaherty Franco

TAMPA, Fla. – Charles “Charlie” Flaherty Franco, 88, was surrounded by his family when he died on March 5, 2020, from complications of heart disease.He was born on June 25, 1931, in New Canaan, Conn., to Joseph and Margaret (Flaherty) Franco.The Francos moved to Peaks Island and Charlie graduated from Cheverus High School in 1951. Charlie graduated from St. Francis Xavier University of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada in 1958, and obtained his MBA from the University of Detroit in 1961. Charlie taught for many years at various schools in the Portland area including Scarborough High School, Southern Maine Community College and University of Southern Maine. Charlie served in the U.S. Army from 1953 to 1955 and was honorable discharged as a corporal. Charlie married the love of his life, Mabel, on May 25, 1957, in Portland. They eventually settled in South Portland, where they raised their five children. Family was the most important thing to Mabel and Charlie. Charlie coached Little League for many years and was named the Little League Coach of the Year. Charlie was a lifelong fan of all Boston sports, but especially his beloved Red Sox. In 1987, Charlie and Mabel, having had enough of Maine winters, moved to Miami, Fla. Charlie loved teaching his high school students at Christopher Columbus High School in Miami for many years. After Charlie retired, they moved to Gainesville where they greatly enjoyed attending many local plays. They eventually settled in Tampa to be closer to family.Charlie was predeceased by his wife, Mabel, who passed in 2018; and his son, Tom, who passed in 2009. He is survived by his children, Maggie Dumais and her husband, Mike, of Topsham, Joseph Franco and his wife, Vanessa, of Lutz, Fla., Barbara Drake and her husband, Chris, of Odessa, Fla., and Patrick Franco of Tampa, Fla. He is also survived by his much loved grandchildren, William and Elizabeth Drake of Odessa, Fla., Arlene Devine and her husband, Ryan, of Pittsburg, Pa.; Luis Polanco and his wife, Carlet, and their son, Nathaniel, of Miami, Fla.; and Alex Polanco and his fiancé, Chelsea Santilli of Bangkok, Thailand. Charlie had chosen to be cremated. There will be no visiting hours but a celebration of his life will be held at his daughter Barbara Drake’s house. Those wishing to make a donation please consider:American Heart Association at www.heart.org or Cure Alzheimer Fund at www.curealz.com