Francisco Flores
1931 - 2020
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Born January 29th 1931, Francisco Flores, better known as Pancho, went to be with the lord on August 8th 2020 surrounded by loved ones.
He was born in Long Beach, California and moved to Mexico during the great depression and followed his childhood dream to come back to America and open a restaurant.
Pancho returned to the United States as a young man and worked his way up to build a small empire that most people don't realize he was able to do.
He opened Pancho's Mexican Restaurant in 1966 located in Long Beach, which still exists today, due to his lifelong hard work. He came from humble beginnings but left this world a better place and in the process epitomized the American Spirit with hard work, smart business and life decisions.
Pancho was a quiet giant in our community. He would support the local youth sports teams, churches and many people in need throughout his life. He will always be a shining example of the opportunity available to anyone willing to put in the work to achieve the "American Dream".
He was a friend to all he came in contact with and will be missed by all who knew him as well

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Published in Gazette Newspapers from Aug. 14 to Aug. 20, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
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5 entries
September 1, 2020
Pancho was such a wonderful person with such a kind heart. Our hearts ache at the idea of not seeing him anymore. His sweet smile, his always asking about my kids, if they weren’t with me at the restaurant. He was more than a friend, he and the people at Pancho’s are family. Our hearts and prayers go out to all of you.
When I started dating my late husband, Ted Wheeler, back in 1980, one of our very first dates was to Pancho’s Mexican Restaurant. He told me he had been going there since he was 16 years old and that this place would be part of our lives. Ted was right. We soon got married and started a family. After our first child was born, on the way home from the hospital, we stopped for Pancho’s. It became a pattern when we had our next two babies. Our children had the perfect introduction to this world, a trip to Pancho’s on the way home from the hospital. With my second child, we went on the way to the hospital as well. That would be the first of many visits to Pancho’s.
My children grew up there and Pancho and the gang were always parts of their lives. The friends of my grown children know Pancho as well because when they’d have friends over and the question came up, “What do you want for dinner?....or lunch..., the answer was always the same, “Pancho’s”. We would drive the half hour it takes to get there, not only because of the delicious food, but because it was like driving home for dinner. Getting to see the staff, which doesn’t feel like staff, but family, being able to see Pancho walk through the door and wave and say, “Hi Teresa, how are the kids? , are memories I will always cherish. Pancho (Frank), always took the time to talk to us. I can’t tell you the countless conversations he was kind enough to sit and have, with all of my kids, but especially my son, Kevin.
So much of our life, so many memories have been made there. We used to go sailing on my husband’s Hobicat. We never ended a day of sailing without going to Pancho’s. The two just go together. When I look over my life and think of happy times, laughing a lot, being surrounded by people I care about, I see Pancho’s. That’s what Pancho built. He didn’t just build a restaurant and serve the yummiest food, he built a large, extended family that we all get to be a part of.
We love you Pancho and we miss you so very, very much. Our love and prayers go out to Rosa, Jaime and all of you. We love you so much. We know Ted is excited he is getting Pancho to make him cheese Fritos in heaven now. We love you Pancho.
Teresa Wheeler
Friend
August 18, 2020
My Papa Tony and his brother John introduced our family to Poncho and his restaurant. We are five generations of Poncho's being our all-time favorite place to eat. Rest in peace friend.
Kimberly Ericson
Acquaintance
August 15, 2020
I met Pancho through one of my best loved friends, Mike Perez. Mike, Tim and I would walk or ride our bicycles to Wilson sometimes and once in a while we would stop at Pancho’s on the way. I think Mike was related somehow. Pancho would treat us to a burrito once in a while but he was always kind and pleasant. I will always remember him like that. I moved away in 1975, but visited friends from time to time and would always try to have a meal at Pancho’s in hopes of saying hello and to enjoy some great food, too.
David Edwards
Acquaintance
August 15, 2020
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow. I feel so blessed to have known you since my early teenage years ! RIP Pancho
Steve Bell
Friend
August 14, 2020
THANK YOU FOR BEING YOU AND THE LOVE YOU SHOWED OUR FAMILY..WE WERE BLESSED WITH YOUR WONDERFUL FOOD AND YOUR KINDNESS FOR OVER 50 YRS..YOU WILL ALWAYS BE IN OUR HEARTS..GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. THE HARTENHOFF'S.. DAVE, CHRIS, GINA, AUDREY, NOELLE, SHERRI LYNN, SCOTT JENNIFER, KIEL AND TIM
CHRIS HARTENHOFF
Friend
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