Frank Gomez ’77

27 January 2004

Class: 1977

Major: Chemistry

Deceased: January 24, 2004

Alumni survivors: Mr. Ricardo L. Gomez ’80 (Sibling)

Born: March 28, 1954

Passed: January 24, 2004

Francisco “Frank” Gomez lived the American dream. But his was a life unfinished. He died at age 49 of as-yet-undetermined causes. Mr. Gomez was the Tucson Citizen’s student-athlete of the year in 1973. He succeeded in many other ways after his family moved here from San Miguelito, Mexico, when he was 9. He went on to receive a medical degree and practiced general medicine in Tucson until his death. Mr. Gomez was the first person of Mexican ancestry to win the student-athlete award and the first from Pueblo High School. He was an all-city selection in cross country, basketball and tennis, winning nine varsity letters. At Carleton College in Minnesota, where he studied chemistry, he was co-captain and MVP of the Knights’ basketball team. At Carleton, Mr. Gomez met lifelong mentor Paul Wellstone, then a professor at the school. Wellstone became a U.S. senator from Minnesota, and Mr. Gomez was deeply affected by his death in a plane crash in 2002, said Mr. Gomez’s older brother Conrado. After Mr. Gomez graduated from medical school at the University of Utah, he did internships in El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. He completed his residency in New York City. Conrado Gomez said “Panchi,” the family nickname for Frank, was gifted athletically from an early age. “He took advantage of his sports gifts to get an education,” said Conrado Gomez, who is a lecturer at Arizona State University East. Mr. Gomez’s father, Francisco Gomez Sr., was employed by Dr. William Davis for many years, and Davis may have influenced Frank’s decision to go into medicine. “Davis would talk to father about Frank,” Conrado Gomez said. “But it wasn’t my father’s style to impose his wishes. He was never pressured.” Francisco Gomez died in 1997. “My father worked all the time, and my brothers – Miguel, Jesus – and me basically raised Frank,” Conrado Gomez said. “It was family law that we took him with us wherever we went.” Mr. Gomez is survived by his mother, Guillerma; a son, Adam; four brothers, Conrado, Miguel, Jesus and Ricardo; and two sisters, Loretto Altamirano and Consuelo Vizcaino, all of Tucson.

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