This past weekend, the Ducks and Honda Center family lost a member as longtime Ducks Zamboni operator Joel Francisco passed away in a tragic motorcycle accident. A member of the organization for 14 years, Francisco, 37, is being remembered for his warm personality and passion for the sport of hockey.
Francisco is survived by two children: an 11-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter.
Originally from Richfield, Minnesota, Francisco and his family relocated to Lakewood in 1989. Francisco attended and played football at nearby Artesia High School.
He also played roller and ice hockey in recreational leagues in Orange County.
“Our entire organization was deeply saddened by the news of Joel’s passing,” said Ducks Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer Tim Ryan. “He was an incredible member of our team, a true professional, and his constant smile was well-known to his co-workers and Ducks fans everywhere. Joel was not only one of the best in his field, but his kind demeanor enhanced the experience at Honda Center, especially for the countless fans fortunate enough to be a passenger on his Zamboni. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his entire family.”
The Ducks asked fans to submit photos of Joel, which were displayed on Honda Vision during the Wednesday night game vs. Vancouver. They are below: