We have years of experience caring for our community, as we are uniquely qualified to serve all cultures and faiths.
We provide kind, caring, and professional service everyday. When members of our community, are in need of mortuary services, they choose our firm, because they know we are proven, qualified leaders in our profession. We are dedicated to excellence in service, adhere to the highest funeral industry standards, and have exceptional integrity that is unwavering. We consistently earn positive online reviews, and personal comments from the families we serve.
Our licensed, professional staff are here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you have experienced a death, or you need to make arrangements ahead of time, please call (209)529-5723 anytime. We wholeheartedly welcome calls from the community, seeking to educate themselves ahead of time, in preparation for themselves or family members.
We will even come to you to make arrangements in the comfort of your home, here at the funeral home, or through DocuSign.
You can count on prompt compassionate service, we are always just a phone call away, where and when you need it.
Kristi Ah You is our Managing Partner of Franklin & Downs Funeral Homes. Kristi is married to Bart Ah You and together they have six adult children, and one son who passed away in 2021.
To their delight they have five grandchildren. Bart and Kristi enjoy spending time with family and friends, and consider Modesto to be their home.
Kristi enjoys serving families, and her team. But when she is not working she loves cooking, baking, and barbequing for family. Art, music and creativity are her hobbies (she recently started taking Harp lessons.)
Kristi was elected to the Modesto City Council in 2015 and completed her term in 2021. Advocating for our citizens and participating in the democratic process was a meaningful opportunity and she is grateful to have served on council.
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. She also served as a 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, also served as Board member for several years with the California State Funeral Directors Association.
Kristi accepted the position as Managing Partner of Franklin & Downs Funeral Homes in November of 2011, after working with the Stanislaus County Sheriff-Coroner, Where she served as a Deputy Coroner, and was promoted to Chief Deputy Coroner from 1998-2011. One of her most memorable cases while working with the Coroner's Division involved creating a team of professionals to assist with, and ultimately identified a Jane Doe Homicide Case from 1971.
Kristi graduated from the San
Francisco College of Mortuary Science and received an Associate's degree in
Mortuary Science in 1998. She obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management
and has 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.
Advanced Planning CounselorPhotojournalist 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.
Funeral Director/EmbalmerIn 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.
Navaz is a licensed funeral director and embalmer who joined us in June 2017.
She has been a lifelong resident of Modesto and is currently attending CSU Stanislaus. Navaz may have 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 in 2011 and Hillview Funeral Chapels in 2016. She is the secretary of the Valley Lode Funeral Directors' Association. In 2021, she received her Bachelor's of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Operations Management and a minor in music performance.
In her spare time, Navaz enjoys reading classic novels, flying stunt and power kites, various crafts, and playing double bass in local orchestras.
*Navaz was inspired to work with a funeral home from her first car and daily driver, "Gomez," a green 1988 Buick LeSabre Estate Wagon hearse. It was purchased to haul around her upright bass, but she took a 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.
Site Safety Coordinator
Matthew Parrott was born and raised in Modesto graduating from Modesto High School. He is responsible for security and safety regulations for the funeral home. He is extremely diligent in assuring that all operations within the funeral home meet the high standards set forth by our mission statement.
Matthew has worked for Franklin & Downs since March of 2018. He looks forward to completing his college education and advancing within the company.
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.
Melissa is a Funeral Planning Associate who joined our team in October 2020. Melissa has a phenomenal rapport working with the families we serve. She is engaging, compassionate, and extraordinary at planning detailed, organized, and meaningful services for all involved.
In case you noticed, we have two Lawsons on our team, yes, Melissa is married to Dave Lawson, and together they have three exceptional children. Melissa enjoys spending time with her family, and they are all committed to a healthy lifestyle, consistently go running, biking and maintaining a healthy diet.
Melissa and her family are active parishioners attending All Saints Catholic Church in Turlock. Both Melissa and her husband are part of the Vocations Ministry Team. They support and pray for those discerning their life's vocation within and outside religious orders. Melissa and her husband are also the Secretaries for the Turlock Pentecost Association. Serving Turlock and the surrounding communities within Stanislaus and Merced counties.
Melissa has a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science with an emphasis in Community Health. She also has her Associate of Science degree in Dental Hygiene. Melissa was born in Southern California and raised in Clovis, CA. She graduated from Clovis High School, where she ran Varsity Cross-Country all four years. She then attended Fresno City College and graduated from California State University, Fresno.
Melissa is grateful to work with our client families and supporting them through their most difficult times. Her work is meaningful, and she enjoys using her creativity to assist families in organizing a meaningful tribute to honor their loved one's life.
Prior to her career at Franklin & Downs Funeral Home, Mary worked in many of the legal clerk positions in the law enforcement field in Stanislaus County for 12 years. Mary has also worked for Staples, USPS, Hunt Wesson, and the City of Ceres. Mary has been a caregiver since she was 11 years old and has experienced caring for others with multiple medical conditions, hospice and with VA home health care assistance. Mary feels very blessed to be in such a caring environment that she has found in the team at Franklin & Downs.
The loss of Mary's father in 2018 brought to fruition her desire to work within the funeral industry. She enjoys assisting others in any capacity for which she has the ability and given the opportunity. Mary enjoys listening and sharing life experiences and accomplishments with the many families for whom she comes in contact.
In Mary's free time, she loves spending it with family and friends. Whether it is playing a musical instrument, needle or picture crafting, whale watching, enjoying the forest, working in the garden, or cooking meals for family or guests, helping others is her greatest passion.
You are welcome to call us any time of the day, any day of the week, for immediate assistance. Or, visit our funeral home in person at your convenience.