Captain Franke Gracia served his country in Iraq before returning to teach math at Temple College. He was universally loved for his ability to make math concepts understandable – especially to students who feared the subject. He had high standards for rigorous work, but was always available to help his students meet his demands. As a pianist, Captain Gracia struggled to improve his own skills and was aware of how difficult it was for his students when he ran up against what he perceived to be his own shortcomings. But he persevered, and shortly before his death, he achieved mastery of a difficult piece, proving that hard work and practice could overcome adversity. He is loved and remembered by all who were touched by his life and example. His scholarship was established by his family to continue his legacy.
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