New York 1

William Henry Francisco, Jr.

July 16, 1933 ~ November 21, 2019 (age 86)


William H. Francisco Jr., 86 died on November 21, 2019.  He died peacefully after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease at The Jewish Healthcare Center in Worcester, MA.  Born on July 15, 1933 in Middletown CT, he was the son of William H. Francisco Sr. and Isabelle Annino Francisco. 

He graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School, received a B.A. from Amherst College, a Master’s Degree from Yale and a Master’s Degree from Wesleyan University.  William went to New York after Yale where his TV work included directing The Guiding Light as well as documentaries for all the three major networks including PBS. 

After leaving New York, William began his career at Wesleyan University as well as directing stage productions in all major cities in the country.  Much of his work focused on Opera production in San Francisco, Denver and Southern California, eventually settling as a tenured Drama professor at his beloved Wesleyan University.  He was often most proud of his influence on his students including Lin Manuel Miranda, Bradley Whitford, and many others.

In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his beloved brother Robert Francisco.  William is survived by his nephew Aaron Francisco and his wife Jennifer and their daughter’s Aaryanna and Natassja; two nieces Rebecca St. Amand and her husband John and Rachel McDonnell and her husband Kevin and their daughter Fiona; three nephews Jason Francisco, Peter Elliot and James Liebowitz and his wife Robin and a sister-in-law Judy Francisco.

He was an avid artist, self-taught musician, animal lover, and a passionate collector of teddy bears.

                                                        “Billy, you’re the most interesting man I have ever met”

A private graveside service will be held at the convenience of the family.  In lieu of flowers, donations in William’s memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter, 200 Executive Boulevard, Suite 4B, Southington, CT 06489-1058.  To share memories or send condolences to the family, please visit


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Private Service

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