Born June 26, 1949, in El Paso, he graduated from The University of Texas at El Paso and joined Pepsi Cola in Houston in 1988 as key accounts sales manager. In 1992, he became general manager, serving San Antonio and the Rio Grande Valley.
Known throughout San Antonio for his generous acts, such as donating supplies to underprivileged school children and providing food baskets for the needy and shelter for the homeless, Franco also was involved in numerous educational, cultural and professional organizations.
He recently was elected president of the San Antonio Retail Grocers Association and was inducted into the Christopher Columbus Italian Society.
"Whenever I needed help, I knew I could pick up the phone and call Rudy," said T. Edward Mercer, vice president for institutional advancement at UT Pan American. "He was someone who could always be counted on, someone who loved helping students and someone who enjoyed life to the fullest. He will be missed by all of us at the university and the foundation."
Franco is survived by his wife, Connie, and children, Charlie, Tony and Kristina Palma.
In lieu of flowers, the family asked that any memorial gifts be in the form of contributions to the Rudy R. Franco Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o Pepsi Cola Company, 61200 N.E. Loop 410, San Antonio, Texas 78218.