Frank Sandoval Gutierrez most you know him as Chico was born in Safford, Arizona to Crispin and Theresa Gutierrez on April 13th, 1936. Chico was the third out of seven children (Crispin Jr, Reynaldo, Eddie, Waldo, Robert, and Diana). While growing up he attended Safford schools and graduated from Safford High School in 1955, during those days he excelled in Football and the other various sports they had to offer.
After graduation Chico joined the Air Force, in which he was honorably discharged. After the Air Force, Chico returned to Safford, in which he enrolled in Eastern Arizona College and became a Gila Monster, playing Football for EAC. During that time at EAC, he found and fell in love with the love of his life Mercedes (Cheryl) Plascencio and they were married on May 1st, 1958. Chico and “Weda” were married 46 years until her untimely death in 2003. During those years, the couple had seven children Patricia, Waldo, Frank JR. Nancy, Pete, Joe, and Steve.
Chico worked for the Safford School District as the lead Supervisor and other capacities for 23 years; during those years he took many students on field trips, sporting events and even picked them up and dropped them off from school that was until he was placed on medical retirement in 1983.
As time flew by, Frank’s family grew and the was proud of all his children and grandchildren’s achievements in sports and academics. His biggest joy was when family would come to see him, he would have the biggest smile and was so happy to see them. That would brighten his day. One of his greatest achievements is that he bestowed a work ethic in his children that transcends to their children, the linage of hard work and doing a great job would be his legacy. He wanted his heirs to be successful and would know that they would give it their best shot at what ever field they went into.
If you really new Chico, you know he had a lot of different hobbies. One was football. He loved the sport, and his favorite team was New England Patriots and favorite player was Tom Brady and when Brady left so did Frank, he jumped ship and started to follow Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but deep down in his heart he ran Blue. He would always be a Safford Bulldog.
Chico had other hobbies as well one of his passions was wood working. He enjoyed the simplicity of designing and creating a project that he made with his own hands. His obsession was also working out. The wellness center was a huge part of his life. He also hunted, fished, and camped with friends and family. He also enjoyed attending EAC softball with his friends on the tree line cheering on the Gila Monsters and of course he enjoyed his Dog Mindy and cat Gato.
Frank entered into rest due to Parkinson’s Disease on May 18th 2022 at his home in Safford with all his children, family and friends at his side. Frank is survived by his children Patricia of Safford, Waldo of Safford, Frank JR (Bernice) of Safford, Pete (Christina) of Safford, Joe (Lena) of Dallas TX, Steve (Karma) of Clifton AZ. He had 24 grandchildren 53 great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews and cousins. Frank was preceded in Death by his wife Mercedes, his Daughter Nancy Gutierrez Sierra, his Parents Crispin and Theresa Gutierrez, his brother Crispin Gutierrez JR & his great-grandson Aaron Gutierrez.
Chico always had a saying “I’ll See You When I See You” and that’s how he lived his life.
A visitation will be held on Friday, June 17, 2022, at 9:00 a.m. followed by the funeral service at 10:00, by the Grace Tabernacle Church in Safford with interment in the Safford Cemetery following services.