Deceased Information


    Phyllis Alicia Franco

    Pesah bat David v' Sarah

  • AGE



    Tuesday, November 01, 2022 (Before Sunset)


    Wednesday, November 02, 2022


    2:30 PM




    Greenwood Cemetery



    Phyllis Alterman Franco passed away peacefully at her home on November 1, 2022, surrounded by her children, grandchildren, and Richard Franco, the love-of-her life and husband for sixty-three years. She was 84. Phyllis was so many things to so many, but always an artist. Through her works and dynamic, insightful way of engaging, she explored the contradictions of life, creating lasting beauty not only in her paintings, but more importantly to her, in the connections she fostered and to which she gave enduring understanding and profound acceptance. Phyllis was a force for goodness. Her children, family, friends and community will miss her dearly.  The daughter of the late Sara and Dave Alterman, Phyllis graduated Salutatorian of the 1956 graduating class of Henry W. Grady High (now Midtown High School) and Phi Beta Kappa from Emory University in 1960. She attended Northwestern University her first two years of college but returned to Emory to be closer to Richard. She later pursued graduate studies at Georgia State University receiving her bachelor’s and Master’s in Visual Arts, Magna Cum Laude in both in 1981 and 1983 respectively. In addition to her roles as mother, wife, homemaker, philanthropist, and active member of the Jewish community, Phyllis became a prolific, disciplined artist. Family, Memory, and Loss were central to Franco’s art.

    The unique approach Phyllis and Richard and their family took to Phyllis’s Alzheimer’s, connecting through Phyllis’ love of the piano and painting and using the strength and tenderness of the couple’s partnership to adapt to the changes together, was well documented.  During her decade and a half with the condition, Phyllis and Richard could be seen daily on walks; their days were a love affair with the City of Atlanta as well as with one another.  Along with making art full-time, Phyllis, loved playing the piano years into her diagnosis, playing tennis, exploring her Judaism, and hosting countless celebrations. She and Richard were also world travelers, often choosing to explore other countries by bicycle with life-long friends. Phyllis was self-effacing, humble, accepting of others, devoted, dutiful, and the truest of friends.  In addition to her husband and partner in adventures, Dr. Richard Franco, Phyllis is survived by her three children and their spouses, Lewis Franco & Heidi Thompson, Rebecca & Henry Chalmers, Meryl Franco & Sam Worley and grandchildren Louisa, Sarina, Joseph and David. She is pre-deceased by her parents and brother Stephen Alterman and infant brother Alvin Alterman. She is survived by brother Richard Alterman and his wife Marty, and Stephen’s widow Marci Ball. Her husband Richard’s family became her own. She is predeceased by his parents Joe and Rachel Franco and survived by brother- and sister-in-laws Ramon & Jody Franco, Renee Franco, Robert & Sara Franco, and Rita & Craig Gilbert along with scores of nieces and nephews, and exceptional friends. The family would like to thank Lucy Rengifo and care-giver Gwen Brown for their years of friendship and service.  Graveside services will be held 2:30 pm on November 2 at Greenwood Cemetery.  Donations can be made to Weinstein Hospice, Ahavath Achim Synagogue, Neranenah, and The Piedmont Park Conservancy.  Dressler's Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999

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Phyllis Franco

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  • sherry lynn solomon

    I am so very sorry to read about Phyllis today. My heart goes out to all of your family.

  • Esther and David Gordon

    Richard and family, Phillis has found eternal rest. She went through a tough time with dignity. She was a beautiful person blessed with a family that treasured her immeasurable talent and love as a human being. · May fond memories of Your life with her bring you all constant confort. We love you and are praying for all of you at this sad time. May God comfort you among the other mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

  • Sandra & Stephen Rich

    We send heartfelt condolences to the Franco and Alterman families. Richard, the loving care you unselfishly gave demonstrated the depth of your love for Phyllis. May you find comfort in knowing you have friends who care.

  • Gail Cohn

    Dear Altermans and Franco’s , Although we are out- of-town, our heats and deepest sympathy are with you. Phyllis was an extraordinary person- may her memory be for a blessing. With love to all- Gail and Harvey

  • Larry Pike

    What can one say which would do justice to Phyllis? An amazingly wonderful person, not only a friend for many years but also a neighbor for too brief a period. Richard and Phyllis -- a wonderful couple. My condolences to Richard and all the family,

  • Marilyn Franco Cristal and Alan Cristal

    We are so sorry for your loss.

  • Steven Schwarz

    Franco Family - My deepest condolences. Aunt Phyllis was one of the kindest and sweetest human beings I have known and she passed that gift on to her immediate family as well. I have so much love for and admiration of her. Jen and I will miss her but are so happy that we have much of her art in our home to remember all she brought to this world. Much Love, Steven and Jen Schwarz

  • Jack Arogeti

    Dear Richard, Lewis, Rebecca, Meryl, and everyone Phyllis loved so much... The words spoken today were, to borrow from Phyllis, "Beautiful"... and then some. What a phenomenal person in countless ways. What an inspiring love you all shared and with so many others. I'll see you at Shiva Thursday night. Sending love, admiration and condolences from my heart and soul to each of you. God bless "Beautiful" Phyllis Franco - and all she loved so truly.

  • Morris & Susan Socoloff

    Susan and I would like to express our sympathy to the family. Phyllis was a wonderful caring person and will be missed.

  • Jerry Page

    Dear Richard & Family Dear Richard We are sorry for your loss. Phyllis was a wonderful wife & companion for you & I am sure there was a GREAT love between both of you. Take care of yourselves With much love Jerry Page

  • Rhoda & Stephen Margolis

    We extend our condolences to the Franco and Alterman families. We remember Phyllis with affection. She was kind and caring as well as wonderfully talented - often willing to share her talent for the good of others. We hope you find consolation in the memories of happier times.

  • Richard Stern

    So so sorry for your loss. Thinking of all the Alterman-Franco clan in this time of loss and transition. Hamakom yenakhem etekhem betokh shaar avelay tziyon viyrushalayim. Big Love!

  • Sandra Levy Caplan

    Have loved Phyllis and Richard since high school and over so many years. So sorry for such a huge loss for us all.

  • Miriam Strickman Levitas

    Dear Richard, My heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family at this very sad time. The depth of your love and loving care for Phyllis exemplified your beautiful and awe-inspiring life together. “May Her Memory Be For A Blessing”

  • Cheryl Singer Weiss

    Rebecca, Lewis, Meryl and Uncle Richard My heart aches for y’all as you go through this difficult time especially after Steve’s passing. I’m abroad and cannot attend the funeral but my love and warm wishes for a quick shiva and knowing Aunt Phyllis is out of pain and with all of her memories. Maybe she and Daddy are having a Coke together. All my love, Cheryl

  • Elaine Taylor-Klaus

    I have vivid childhood memories of Mrs. Franco -- a beautiful soul. Her presence was a blessing throughout her life - and I'm confident her memory will be a blessing for so many. Sending love.

  • Michael and Linda Friedman

    Phyllis will be missed by all who knew her. She was always so creative, loving, and caring. Richard, you have been a role model for all of us. You handled Phyllis' challenges with tenderness, dignity, humor, and devotion. We are so grateful to you both.

  • Cary and Sherry King

    Both Sherry and I remember I not only a an extremely bright, sensitive and creative person but also today we think about the kindness and the warmth that she generated towards everyone who knew her. And to Richard, you and Phyllis were the perfect couple we all aspired to be. You have been a constant companion and while I know you will miss Phyllis greatly, you did everything for her and somehow I know she knows that and is now at peace. May that bring you peace in your life. Love, Sherry and Cary

  • Barbara and Dick Planer

    Richard, we will miss Phyllis very much. Your devotion to her and for her had no boundaries We loved being with you both even when Phyllis could not always participate. May you and your family always remember the good times you had together and let it continue with Phyllis in the background.

  • sharon franco Rothschild

    I will be thinking about you all today and remembering the Phyliss I knew. the amazing mother, wife, artist, and cousin. such a sweet soul who raised such a beautiful family! the family that rallied around her so beautifully when she became ill, and allowed everyone to be a part of it. she will live on in her children and grandchildren.... we had many discussion about being artists - she came to visit me in my studio at float away building, and it was during the time she was painting those big beautiful birds. she talked about how her children all "leaving the nest" to go to college and live on their own had inspired the birds . though she was incredibly talented and successful as an artist - I always knew her greatest accomplishment was her family - Richard, and being the best mother anyone could ask for. her memory will always be a blessing....

  • Sandra Mislow

    To the entire Franco and Alterman families, my sincere condolences on the loss of this special friend. Sam always referred to Richard as an angel, and he truly was devoted to Phyllis.

  • Holly Thompson

    I loved Phyllis Franco and will miss her. She was always so loving and warm with me. We had interesting conversations. She also cracked me up! I am sending my biggest love to my dear Francos and to the Altermans during this time of grieving and celebration of a wonderful woman who lived such a rich and wonderful life. And I am so happy that I have one of her gorgeous bird portraits above our bed to remind me of this beautiful soul Phyllis.

  • Anita Eidex

    Forgot to put our last name.

  • Anita & Max

    I knew Phyllis since we were students at Emory and remember being invited to the lovely home of her parents for Shabbat & holiday dinners. One of my treasures is a copy of Sentinel Views, Stories & Images of Phyllis Alterman Franco, which she gifted me in June, 1997. I am grateful for having had her in my life and to have witnessed the love and devotion of her Richard through the years. Condolences and love… Anita (& Max)

  • Robert and Tara Alterman

    I am so blessed to be able to call Phyllis family. So many great times and memories of her. She was one of a kind, and just so genuine. RIP my sweet cousin. You leave an incredible legacy. Much love, Robert and Tara

  • Carl Golden

    Richard and the family I’m so sorry for your loss I’m know Phyllis for many years going back to AZA/BBG days. She was a wonderful person. You all are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Charles Sheron

    Richard and all the Family, sending thoughts, prayers and love.

  • Saba and Victor Silverman

    Dear Richard and family Our deepest love is being sent to you. Your devotion and love for Phyllis reached far and above most.. we love you and admire the genuine love…Saba and Victor

  • Julie Zier and Brad Davidorf

    Dear Franco family - Brad and I are so sorry for your loss. Phyllis touched our lives and many, many others with her warmth, charm, and authenticity. She and Richard inspired us with their devotion to each other, their family, and the community. Our hearts are with you during this difficult transition. May her memory be a blessing. Sending you much love. Brad Davidorf and Julie Zier

  • Eva and Gary Beldick

    Phyllis was truly someone special whom, if you were fortunate , you might one day meet. She was most kind , sweet , unassuming , and generous in many, many ways with her friendship, her intellect ,and her very special self! She always managed to endow the time one spent with her with joy, knowledge, and kindness! She truly was one of God’sAngels.

  • Susie and Jerry Warshaw

    Phyllis will be missed by all who knew her! Her creative art work will live forever. She was such a beautiful person with a warm caring personality. Richard, our hearts go out to you and you family for such a tremendous loss! With love, Susie and Jerry

  • Linda Miller

    Dear Richard and family,so sorry for your loss.Phyllis was a loving,caring,soft spoken,talented woman and I know her life will leave a wonderful impact and memories to all of you.She will be greatly missed,but her essence will continue thru all of you.

  • Larry and Stella Gordon

    One cannot but admire Richard’s handling of Phyllis’s unfortunate medical situation. We send our condolences to both the Alterman and Franco families.

  • jack and stella deleon

    dear Richard: we are so so sorry about Phyllis. We will always remember her beautiful smile and warm ness with us. much love, stell a and jack

  • Carla Silver

    Richard and family, Arthur and I send our condolences to you and your family. Phyllis was a very special and gifted woman and will always be remembered, Love, Carla

  • Alan Teperow & Suzanne Hanser

    We are so sorry for your loss but incredibly grateful to have seen Phyllis during our recent visit to Atlanta. -So many wonderful memories of this wonderful, creative, and talented woman!

  • Lynn B Friedman

    To the family, Just having had the privilege to know Phyllis over several decades, to bask in her welcoming smile from time to time and to watch the ever-present devotion between R & P, "sweethearts" for a lifetime was wonderful. Our home is graced with a beautiful piece of her art, allowing me to think of her often. I am certain that the many memories of joyous occasions will help all of you adjust to this tremendous loss. Sincerely, Lynn

  • Alvin Sugarman

    Richard, the love shared by you and Phyllis blessed each of us beyond measure, as did the care and concern you gave her. The two of you showed us all what love truly means…

  • Martha Jo and Jerry Katz

    Phyllis will be remembered in so many wonderful ways. Sending love and deepest sympathy to Richard and family. "Memories in the heart bring comfort to the soul?.".

  • Phyllis and Lew Kravitz

    To Richard and All The Family, we are so sorry to hear that Phyllis has passed away. We send our heartfelt condolences.

  • Phillip and Rosalind Habet

    We all mourn with the lost of such a Special loving person,

  • Elena Franco

    Dearest Cousins Richard,Lewis,Rebecca,Meryl and Family: I am so,so sorry for your loss. I loved Phyllis so much--she was always so kind to me. I will never forget her kindness to me after my Papoo Sam passed away. She was a great comfort. She was a true Eshet Chayil and I will miss her. Sending all of you love and heartfelt condolences. Love always,Elena

  • Leah Franco

    Phyllis was my dear friend.....I will miss her....I will always remember her smiling face & thoughtful ways.

  • Charlene Capilouto

    Richard, the Franco and Alterman family. I have know Phyllis all my life as the Alterman's lived down the street from us. Richard is family; his great grandmother and my grand father were related. Richard and the Franco family(aunts and Uncles) would meet at my grandparents on Sundays(Berkshire Rd) for food, music and dancing. Phyllis will be missed by all, but her memory and fun times will always be in our hearts.

  • mimi siegel

    l am so sorry for your loss. Phyllis was a very special person and loved by all. My deepest sympathy to the entire family Mimi Siegel

  • Dr.and Mrs.Salvatore Franco

    Richard , Lewis , Rebecca and Meryl , Just learnt about the passing of your beloved Wife and Mom , Phyllis . Our heartfelt sympathy extends to each and all of you . She indeed was a Soul endowed with rare qualities and I am delighted , honored to have had the privilege of meeting her amongst the first few people I met when my family and I moved to the US from Italy in the late ‘70s. I shall never forget her genuine , beautiful , radiating smile . She exuded a unique positive energy wherever she went . She will be dearly missed . May HaShem Bless and Welcome Her to Rest in Gan Eden . May Her Soul pray for Long Lives for each and all of you . Joana and Salvatore

  • Philip Wendkos

    May Phyllis Rest In Peace and May you Dr Richard be omforted in her memory and good deeds.

  • Penson & Claudia Kaminsky

    Much love to the families of Phyllis & Richard special love to the Sweetheart of AEPi Epsilon at Emory Such a special couple!!

  • Diane F Cohen

    A Phyllis Alterman painting of a ketubah was used on the front cover of the 1995 AA Sisterhood Gold Book Directory. She was ever so gracious in allowing the use of such a magnificent piece.

  • Martha & Barry Silverman

    A beautiful, creative, empathetic, humanist whose love of mankind was felt by all who knew her.

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