Richard Bruce Francois, 86, of L’Anse, died peacefully, Wednesday, January 11, 2017 at Baraga County Memorial Hospital.
Richard Bruce Francois was born April 26, 1930, in Appleton Wisconsin, son of Joseph and Gladys Francois. While still young his family moved to Pequaming, Michigan. He spent his days playing with friends, attending the one-room school house, trapping and befriending animals, climbing towers, and having many other boyish adventures.
As he grew older Richard’s family moved to L’Anse where he attended L.H.S. He served his country in the Air Force, stationed at the Pentagon for a major portion of his time. Later he became a Merchant Marine, sailing many many miles on the Great Lakes. Ultimately, he worked at Celotex until he retired.
On one very significant day in Richard’s life he saw a beautiful woman with dark hair and shiny, dark eyes. “Who is that?” He asked. He had found his Lorraine, the one he would marry and love for the rest of his days. And together they had ten children.
Day after day he lived for them, this wife and these children, working hard and long…providing, protecting, and loving. Oh, how he loved. He loved animals, he loved beauty, he loved children, he loved people, he loved life, he loved God and he loved Mother Mary. On and on he led them, toward the God he knew and loved, so now they know and love Him too. No greater inheritance could a man have given.
In the End his heart spilled over with gratitude… “I cannot believe my life!” he would say. And, “My God, I can’t thank you enough.” And so, on January 11, 2017, this man who had walked with Jesus throughout his life, kept on walking, right into Heaven, to share in the joy of the Master he had so faithfully served. He went with the blessing of his Priest, and with his family caressing him and cheering him on.
He is survived by his son, Jeff Francois and his children, Dana (Crystal) and grandchildren, Alexis, Darien, Ava & Chloe; Jeremy (Kassie) and grandchildren, Victoria, Seth, Scott, Vincent and Victoria; Jessie and grandchildren, Isabella and Gracien; daughter, Natalie (Don) Mleko and their children, Trista and grandchild, Tristan; Elizabeth (Don) and grandchildren Daniel and Cara; Joseph and grandchildren, Joey, Johnathan, Donovan and Lyla; and Christian; son, Stuart (Michelle) Francois and their children, Dominic and Nathan and grandchildren, Damon, Ann and Nora; daughter, Mary (Jeff) Johnston and their children Tim (Stacy) and grandchildren, Ivan, Hannah and Lucy; Julia; Laura (Michael) and grandchildren, Kaleigh, Quentin and Kai; daughter, Catherine (Don) Elliott and their children, Jared and Luke and a grandchild, Fallon; daughter, Ann (Gordon) Francois DeWeese and their children, Cedric, Savannah, Adeline, Isaac, Charles and Charlotte; daughter, Jacquelyn (Michael) Velmer and their children, Michaela, Jessica, Daniel, Rachael and Zachary; daughter, Jeanine (Fernando) Gonzalez and their children, Terese and grandchild, Nina; Fernando, Felipe, Miguel, Gabriela, Ana, Mathew, Eliana and Isabella; daughter Sara Bartle and children, Joshua, Erica and Monica; daughter, Rebecca (Eugenio) Callejas and their children, Juan Pablo, Samuel, Francisco, Caleb and Reyna; and sister’s-in-law, Lillian Verbanac, Fachon Boyette and Linda Picard.
Going before him were: Joseph Francois (father), Gladys Francois (mother), Lorraine Francois (wife), Phyllis Santini (sister), Merilyn McKindles (sister), Ken Francois (brother).
Remaining family: Joanne Michaud (sister), Linda Bastian (sister), And his children and grandchildren.
Visitation will be held on Friday, January 13, 2017 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Jacobson Funeral Home. A parish prayer service will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday along with military honors. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, January 14, 2017 at 6 p.m. in Sacred Heart Catholic Church with Rev. Corey Litzner officiating. Burial will take place in the L’Anse Evergreen Cemetery in the spring.
Friends may sign Richard’s guestbook or send condolences at www.jacobsonfuneralhome.com