Elderly longtime Glendora man dies following bicycle crash


An elderly longtime Glendora man struck by a car while riding his bike Monday has died from his injuries, officials confirmed Friday.
Francisco Alvarez, 78, died Wednesday afternoon at a hospital following Monday’s collision at Foothill Boulevard and Elwood Avenue, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Joe Bale said. He was initially described by police as 79 years old.
Alvarez was a poet, an avid bicyclist and devoted father and grandfather and who was always joking, said his son, Andrew Alvarez of Rancho Cucamonga.
“He was a great man. He’ll definitely be missed,” the son said.
Alvarez was riding his bicycle about 2:30 p.m. when he was struck and fatally injured by a sedan being driven by an 86-year-old Glendora man, Glendora police officials said.
Alvarez was heading west on Foothill Boulevard and the sedan was heading east just prior to the impact, Glendora police Lt. Matt Williams said. The car then made a left turn when it collided with the bicyclist.
Police officers found the Alvarez had no pule and was not breathing when they arrived on scene, but managed to resuscitate the man before he was rushed to a hospital, where he clung to life for two days, officials said.
The cause of the collision remained under investigation, authorities said, however the driver remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators, and nothing criminal was initially suspected.
Francisco Alvarez was born in Spain, where he worked as a teacher, wrote poetry and considered becoming a monk.
“For obvious reasons, I’m glad he didn’t go through with,” his son said.
But while in his 30s, Alvarez decided to move to North America, first settling in Canada before hitchhiking across the continent, from Alaska to Mexico City.
He met his wife in Montreal, Canada, and the couple had two children, Andrew Alvarez said. The family moved to Glendora in 1980, where Francisco Alvarez and his wife have lived ever since.
Francisco Alvarez worked as a credit manager for Allfast Fastening Systems Inc. in Industry until he retired in 2003, his son said.
He often rode his bike to work, the son added. And in retirement, he took a 10-mile bike ride every day, then walked his dog two miles each evening. He was also a faithful Catholic who rode his bike to Mass every Sunday.
“He was extremely healthy,” Andrew Alvarez said.
“He valued education. He pushed us very hard for that,” Andre Alvarez said. “He was very grateful that after bing born in poverty in Spain, to see where he had come.”
Francisco Alvarez is survived by his wife, Catherine Alvarez: sisters Lupe and Carmen Alvarez, who are nuns in Spain; his children, Andrew and Carmen Alvarez; daughter-in-law Jennifer Alvarez, and grandchildren Anya, 11, and Daniel, 9.
Francisco Alvarez was very close with his grandchildren, his son said.
Anya said she enjoyed walking the dog with her grandfather as he sung songs in Spanish. She also said she remembered his jokes.
Daniel recalled that his grandfather encouraging him to eat his broccoli.
Francisco Alvarez had a passion for poetry, his son said. He stopped writing around the time he had a family, but renewed is artistic efforts in 1997, when he was introduced to the Internet. He was compelled to start a website featuring Spanish-language poetry, and has since published 3,600 sonnets and other poems, compiled into 31 volumes.
“He was very popular in Latin America and Spain,” Andrew Alvarez said, adding that some of his fathers sonnets had been performed on-stage in his native country.
Francisco Alvarez visited Spain once a year, his son said, and was looking forward to attending a live performance of one of his sonnets in May.
A Rosary will be held from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at Oakdale Memorial Park, 1401 S. Grand Avenue in Glendora, Andrew Alvarez said. A Mass is to follow at 10 a.m. Wednesday at St. Dorothy Catholic Church, 241 S. Valley Center Ave.

PHOTO of Francisco Alvarez riding his bicycle in France courtesy of the Alvarez family.

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