Frank J. Lucero, PhD

November 27, 1948 – July 22, 2023

Frank J. Lucero was born in Monte Vista, Colorado to Frank and Aggie Lucero.

Some of his fondest memories of growing up were of the time he spent on the farm with his grandparents Esequiel and Manuelita Medina and working the garden with his grandma Sarra Lucero. He learned about hard work from his parents and grandparents working on the farms in and around Monte Vista and becoming a meatcutter in his father’s meat market. He graduated from Monte Vista High School in 1966. In 1968 he joined the United States Armed Forces and proudly served his country in the Army.

Dr. Lucero was a first-generation college student who attended the University of Northen Colorado in Greeley after his service in the Army. He graduated in 1974 with a degree in social science and secondary education. His first job after college was teaching high school in his hometown of Monte Vista. He wrote the curriculum and taught Chicano studies and also taught social studies, math, and accounting. He continued his education and earned a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Northern Colorado in 1977. He became an assistant principal of the junior high school in Monte Vista and went on to serve as a high school principal in Ignacio, Woodland Park, Hayden, Mapleton, and Holyoke. He was a troubleshooter principal and through his experiences turning around underperforming schools, he became interested in organizational development. He went on to study the field, earning a PhD in Organizational Development from Colorado State University in 1985. His career in education also included serving as Assistant Dean of Students for Cultural Diversity/Director of the Hispanic Cultural Center at the University of Northern Colorado, Superintendent of Schools in Limon and Trinidad, and Executive Director of Laradon Hall, a nonprofit organization that served people with developmental disabilities from birth to senior citizens. His career was dedicated to serving others because of his abiding love for students, encouraging them, and creating opportunities for them to achieve their dreams.

Frank was an avid reader, just like his mother Aggie. If he heard about a new concept or idea, he wanted to read about it. He built an amazing library in his lifetime with books on a wide variety of topics including leadership, philosophy, school administration, research methods, history, and social justice. He was a lifelong golfer and played at courses all over the country. He was quite a prankster and loved joking and laughing. He always said, “I only tease people I like.”  He also never met a stranger. He would see people whose lives he had touched everywhere he went, and they were always so happy to see him. He would strike up a conversation with anyone, and before long they were old friends. Above all, he loved his family, his wife Elena, his children Kiko and Monica, grandchildren, godchildren, siblings, nieces and nephews, cousins, parents, grandparents, and friends. Frank embodied love. The luckiest people on earth were those who he chose to bring into his circle of love.

Frank is survived by his wife of 32 years Elena Sandoval-Lucero, his children Kiko (Sabrina) Lucero, Monica Lucero, his siblings Patsy Lowry, Sarah (Abel) Chavez, Paul Lucero, Sharon (Duane) Lucero-Walker, Jim (Connie) Lucero; five grandchildren; and numerous extended family members. He was preceded in death by his parents Frank and Aggie Lucero, his brother Michael Lucero, and his primo hermano Raymond (Shorty) Montaño.

Services will be held Monday, July 31 at Immaculate Conception Church 715 Cabrini Drive in Lafayette, Colorado. Rosary at 10:30 am and Funeral Mass at 11:00 am.

The family invites you to a luncheon following the services at Colorado National Golf Club 2700 Vista Parkway, Erie, CO 80516. In addition to time for food and connection, there will be music that Frank selected, and an open mike for anyone who would like to share memories of Frank.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to a scholarship fund that will be used to create an endowed scholarship in Dr. Lucero’s name. Higher education changed the trajectory of his life significantly and we would like to honor him by helping other students like him.

Dr. Frank J. Lucero Memorial Scholarship Fund


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6 thoughts on “Frank J. Lucero”

  1. Frank ( Sonny) was an AMAZING cousin!! We were Facebook friends and we texted until I left on July 11th to help my daughter while she recuperated from surgery. I told him I was coming to Washington and he told me, go help your daughter and take care of the family. I always let Frank know I was praying for him and he Thanked me. I know the gates of Heaven opened up for him and his parents met him there. May God Bless all his family and Comfort them always. Love and prayers, your cousin, Theresa and Lindon Ward

  2. I will miss you Buddy. Growing up with you made life so much fun. I will always remember you for your love of life, big smile, and loud laughter. God Bless you, rest in peace.

  3. So sad to hear the news about Franks passing. He was amazing at helping so many students. Arsenio and I are sending our sympathy and prayers

  4. Sonny was an amazing person and very dear friend to my family and very good friend to my brother John (Jams) Medina. He did a lot for the Chicanos in Monte Vista. He will be truly missed. Rest in peace!

    With much Love!!
    Madeleine Medina-Thompson

  5. I just learned of Sonny passing. I am sorry to hear this so late. Frank opened the door for me at Monte Vista as Assistant Principal to conduct a dropout prevention program that led into a peer tutoring program for the next three years. Again he opened the doors at Ignacio High School for me to teach Youth Effectiveness Leadership. In 1987 I was graduate assistant at the Chicano Cultural Center. I spent lots of time with Sonny and his family those years.
    He was brilliant person and very talented as a leader. I have thought of him to this day.

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