Meet Our Staff

Our staff provides excellent funeral planning services.

We have years of experience caring for families from all walks of life, cultures and faiths. Our unsurpassed staff and our family provide kind, caring, professional service. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession who are dedicated to excellence in service, adhere to the highest funeral industry standards, and have exceptional integrity. We consistently earn phenomenally high customer satisfaction survey results.

Our licensed, professional staff is here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please call 209-529-5723 anytime. We will even come to you to make arrangements in the comfort of your home.

Prompt, compassionate service is always just a phone call away, where and when you need it.


Kristi Ah You

Kristi Ah You

Managing Partner


Kristi Ah You is our Managing Partner of Franklin & Downs, Kristi is married to Bart Ah You and together they have six adult children, and two grandchildren. Kristi is a lifelong resident of Modesto and considers Modesto to be her home. Bart and Kristi enjoy spending time with family and friends, attending Redeemer Church in downtown Modesto and Community Groups, traveling and living an active healthy life style. 

She was elected to the Modesto City Council in 2015 and currently services as Chair of the Great Safe Neighborhoods and Vice Chair of Effective Government Committees. 

Kristi Ah You' s additional contributions to our community and participation include:  Past President of the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Employee Foundation; Past Board Member for the California State Coroners’ Association; Previous Member of the Stanislaus County Death Review Team; Project Coordinator of “Keeping Infants Sleeping Safe,” in partnership with Stanislaus County Department of Public Health; Past member of the Stanislaus County Child Abuse Prevention Council;  Salvation Army Advisory Board; and the Stanislaus County Office of Education Leadership Academy Board. Kristi is a current board member with Community Hospice. One of her most memorable experiences was when she participated in a vocational and cultural exchange and traveled to Chennai, India as a participant in the Group Study Exchange through Rotary 5220, sponsored by Modesto Sunrise Rotary. Kristi Ah You is a current Board member serving the California State Funeral Directors Association.

Kristi accepted the position as Managing Partner of Franklin & Downs Funeral Homes in November of 2011. Kristi graduated from the San Francisco College of Mortuary Science and received an Associate's degree in Mortuary Science and later earned a Bachelor's degree in Business Management and completed course work towards a Masters in Forensics. She considers it an honor to be in a position of serving others, and providing quality servant leadership to her team and our community.


Email: Kristi.ahyou@carriageservices.com


LeRoy Hart

LeRoy Hart

Funeral Director/Embalmer

In 1957, during his junior year in high school, Leroy Hart began his funeral career in Sioux City, Iowa at Berkemier Funeral Home. His job duties included assisting with funeral services and the usual duties associated with funeral homes.
After graduating in 1959, Leroy voluntarily entered the U.S. Armed Services and served as a Third Class Yeoman in the U.S. Navy. He served aboard the aircraft carrier USS Bennington and made a Western Pacific Cruise. When Leroy was discharged, he returned to his hometown and married his high school sweetheart, Cecelia, on February 3rd, 1962.

After a short time, they relocated to Los Angeles, where they both were employed in the aerospace industry at Northrup Corporation. During that time, he attended Junior College and in April 1964, he enrolled in the California College of Mortuary Science, graduating in April 1965. By this time, a daughter was born, and it was time to begin his career in Funeral Service. This is when they made their home in Modesto and Leroy began working at Franklin & Downs Funeral Homes. Their son was born shortly after their move to Modesto, completing their family.
After seven years with Franklin & Downs, his career was interrupted, and for two years, LeRoy managed Dreyer’s Ice Parlor/Restaurant in Modesto. He then returned to Franklin & Downs as a part owner and joined Lew Franklin, Sr.,  Lew Franklin, Jr., and Saxon Downs, resuming his career path. He continued to serve our community as a corporate Vice-President and Funeral Director with the firm.

In 1972, Leroy became a Christian and has been a faithful and active member of CrossPoint Community Church. He is a member of the Modesto Rotary Club, where he has held several chairmanships over the years.

Leroy enjoys leisure time with his family and friends. He is currently retired but is available to work services from time to time.

Email: Leroy.Hart@carriageservices.com


Stephanie Mucci

Stephanie Mucci

Embalmer/Funeral Director

Stephanie discovered her passion in 2000 when she began her first job as a funeral assistant. A majority of her career was spent in Los Angeles, where over the years she earned a degree in Mortuary Science and graduated from Cypress College in 2008 to acquire her Embalmer and Funeral Directors License. In 2012, Stephanie, along with her husband David, returned to her hometown here in the central Valley. Her journey has now led her to the Franklin & Downs family, where she hopes to spend many years to come.

Stacy Del Ponte

Stacy Del Ponte

Office Coordinator

Stacy Del Ponte is the Office Coordinator at Franklin & Downs Funeral Homes.  Previous to her career at the funeral home, she was a Business and General Education instructor at Heald College in Salida, Ca.  Her business background also includes owning a gift shop in Turlock, Ca between 2001 and 2003.  Stacy earned her Bachelor's Degree in Business Management in 2008 after returning to college as an adult. 

The loss of her mom in 2012 drives her passion for helping families during the hardest times of their lives. Stacy is full of life and warms the hearts of others through her vibrant personality and caring disposition.  She absolutely adores her son who currently attends Denair High School as a sophomore with dreams to play basketball in college.


Kristina  Luna

Kristina Luna

Funeral Arranger

Kristina was born and raised in Ceres and attended Ceres High School. She is married to Adrian Luna, and together they have six children. Prior to joining the Franklin & Downs team in May 2012, she served as the school registrar at Champions College, where she also attended leadership classes. She came with over ten years of administration, computer and graphics design experience. She is passionate about helping others and enjoys every opportunity to use her creative skills. She has designed a few logos for some of our area’s local businesses, including our very own Franklin & Downs logo. The majority of our newspaper and magazine advertisements have been her designs.
Kristina is a member of Ceres Chamber of Commerce, where she actively assists with their social media profiles and helps build the online audience that provide support and attendance for special events that enrich her community.  Kristina is also a Rotarian and is a member of the Ceres Rotary Club. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, going to the beach, and backyard barbecues. Kristina is honored to serve aside such a wonderful team.


Desiree Esparza

Desiree Esparza

Funeral Arranger

Desiree was raised in San Joaquin Valley and graduated from Escalon High in 2008. While still in high school, Desiree attended Adrian’s Beauty College, shortly after graduation she obtained her cosmetology license, she then attended Modesto Junior College. She is married to Javier Marquez, and together they have a daughter and son. Desiree and her family are all members of St. Frances of Rome Catholic Church, where they enjoy attending Sunday morning services. She worked as a hairdresser in Modesto for four years prior to joining the Franklin & Downs staff in April 2013. She is our Lead Arranger and enjoys helping others in their time of need. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, watching sports, going on road trips to the beach, and DIY projects.

Brenda Gomez

Brenda Gomez

Administrative Assistant

Brenda is one of our bilingual (English/Spanish) staff members who currently works full-time as an administrative assistant.  She works very diligently to make sure that every family member has proper permits and death certificates.  When the need arises, Brenda also meets with families as a funeral arranger.  Brenda was raised in Waterford, California, graduating high school from Waterford High School and currently resides in the Ceres area.

Brenda and her son are members of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church where they attend Sunday morning mass.  She is an avid Dodgers fan and enjoys cheering for her son’s many sports activities.  Brenda looks forward to continuing her education and following her dreams of being in law enforcement.      



Janet Martinez

Janet Martinez

Receptionist

Janet Martinez is one of our bilingual (English/Spanish) Franklin & Downs staff members who currently works as our receptionist, greeting each family with love and respect. Originally born in Zamora, Michoacán, Mexico, Janet was raised as a child in Manteca, California. She now resides in the Modesto area with her husband, Tony Caito and four children. Janet came to Franklin & Downs with eight years of floral experience, including administrative duties and providing floral services to the community and several local funeral homes. Janet is very excited to have taken on this new role with our company as she is motivated to assist families during their most crucial time of need.

Navaz Jasavala

Navaz Jasavala

Funeral Director/Embalmer

Navaz is a licensed funeral director and embalmer who joined us in June 2017, working part time as she pursues a bachelor's degree.

She has been a lifelong resident of Modesto and attended Beyer High School, University of the Pacific, and Modesto Junior College. Navaz began her career in funeral service on a whim but quickly realized it was not an average "9 to 5;" she was truly touched by the relationships made assisting families in their first steps through grief and caring for their loved ones.

Navaz served her apprenticeship and began work at Turlock Memorial Park and Funeral Home and Hillview Funeral Chapels. She is the secretary of the Valley Lode Funeral Directors' Association.  

Navaz got the idea to begin applying for a job with a funeral home from her first car and daily driver, "Gomez," a green 1988 Buick LeSabre Estate Wagon hearse. Aside from some shock value, it was purchased to haul around her large bass. After fruitless auditions for some local and Bay Area orchestras and encouragement from her family to find a consistent day-job, she took the cue from the car, researched mortuary service, and began sending out applications. Regrettably, Gomez has since been sold but Navaz continues to keep an eye out for another special wagon.

Navaz still has many dreams and hopes to someday own/manage a funeral home, be a certified public accountant, and continue her passion for music with a professional symphony or opera company. 

In her spare time, Navaz enjoys reading classic novels, flying stunt and power kites, various crafts, and playing double bass in local orchestras. She aims to obtain her bachelor's in operations management, and if given the time, minors in accounting and music performance.


Ramon Mendez

Ramon Mendez

Ambassador

Ramon is a longtime resident of Ceres. He joined our team in May 2014. He is a member of Ceres Chamber and also Latino Community Roundtable of Stanislaus County. He enjoys being a part of our team and is honored to be serving our Ceres families.

Vicky McDaniels

Vicky McDaniels

Ambassador/Funeral Assistant

Vicky was born and raised in Modesto, California. Growing up she loved riding horses on her family’s ranch and singing in her high school choir. She graduated from Thomas Downey High School in 1986. She then attended nursing school before she became a mother.
She and her husband Dr. David McDaniels together have five children . Being a mother is her sole purpose in life. The youngest Derek is a junior at Enochs High school. While her children were young, she dedicated her life to teaching preschool. She later graduated from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition as a Certified Health Coach. She and her husband owned a successful practice here in Modesto for decades and now have the ability to help patients everywhere due to their growing online virtual practice they call HOPE.
Activities include: Serving at Shelter Cove Community Church. Serving with her husband in Modesto Sunrise Rotary for many years. Actively participating in the German exchange program and hosting. Through rotary she is able to advise and help organize the Enoch’s High School Interact Club. She has worked and volunteers with the Boys and Girls Club. She is the Central Valley Coordinator for Education First. A non profit organization that coordinates foreign exchange programs for teenage students. She has been a caregiver her entire life. Her grandparents were a great influence in her life, they showed her the importance of a loving compassionate life by example. Faith has shown her how to love, and to want to share that love with others. Vicky believes there is no greater purpose than to help families in need when they have suffered the loss of a loved one.


Jordan Herr

Jordan Herr

Funeral Assistant

Jordan James Herr was born in Oakdale, California. He has been a lifelong resident of Modesto and attended school here locally. Jordan is a combat veteran who recently completed his service with the United States Army. Jordan recently returned to his hometown and is extremely excited to be a part of our community. During Jordan’s service, he served a tour of duty in Afghanistan. During his tour, he received an Afghanistan Medal, with campaign star, an Army Commendation Medal, (2nd award) Meritorious Unit Commendation, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO medal and a combat medal. Jordan considers it an honor to have been of service to our country. Jordan plans to continue serving others throughout his life and has recently enrolled in Modesto Junior College for the fall semester. Jordan, recently joined Franklin and Downs Funeral Homes and is considering a career in funeral service. In the meantime he is a member of toastmaster’s, is in the process of training a service dog, and enjoys spending time with family.

David Bonde

David Bonde

Funeral Assistant

David grew up in Pleasanton, Ca.  After high school, he married his wife, Gina.  They have three adult children and four grandchildren.  Prior to joining the team at Franklin & Downs Funeral Homes in 2016, David retired from a career with Alameda County Public Works where he served for 27 years.

David enjoys his position as a Funeral Assistant where he can utilize his gifts by encouraging and helping others during their time of need. 

Family is very important to David and he makes sure they know it by spending time together.  He likes the outdoors, creating craft projects, traveling, reading and taking care of the family pets.


Brandon Duncon

Brandon Duncon

Funeral Assistant



Jerry Moon

Jerry Moon

Funeral Assistant



Beverly  Porovich

Beverly Porovich

Funeral Assistant



Wendy Walker

Wendy Walker

Funeral Assistant



Bart Ah You

Bart Ah You

Advanced Planning Counselor

Photojournalist Bart Ah You has been capturing moments in the lives of people throughout California for more than a quarter century. His images became a staple of everyday life for Central Valley residents during his award-winning career at the Modesto Bee. His work has appeared on book covers and in magazines such as Time, Newsweek and People, as well as in newspapers throughout the country. He has also been the recipient of many accolades and awards for his work with McClatchy Press throughout the years.

Bart is a long-term and well-respected member of our community. This is why transitioning into working with our pre-arrangement families and making end-of-life decisions is a perfect fit for Bart, our community and Franklin & Downs Funeral Homes.

Bart Ah You is Married to Kristi Ah You and they have six adult children. They enjoy being of service to their community and consider it an honor. Bart likes to spend time with family. In his free time, he is a volunteer for the Boys & Girls Club and the Family Justice Center. He is a Rotarian and is the current Sergeant of Arms for Modesto Sunrise Rotary.
Employed by PRECOA, Representative of NGL Insurance Company

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