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Philip Francis

May 29, 2024

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Philip R. Francis, born on February 16, 1926, in Elmwood, IL, passed away on May 29, 2024, in Decatur, IL. He was the beloved husband of Myra Barz, who he married on June 16, 1950. Philip was the son of James H. and Lucille Francis and brother of James Francis Jr.
During his remarkable life, Philip touched the hearts of many and left an indelible mark on those around him. He served his country with honor from February 10, 1944, to June 3, 1946 during WWII as an Aerial Gunnery Instructor for the United States Army. His dedication to his country was unwavering, and his service was validation of his character.
Philip’s commitment extended beyond his military service; he dedicated 36 years of his life to the University of Illinois, serving as the manager for the Nuclear Physics Laboratory from 1948 to 1984. His work ethic and passion for his job were undeniable, making a lasting impact on all those he worked with.
In addition to his professional accomplishments, Philip was an active member of the Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church in Champaign, IL. His faith was a guiding light in his life, and his involvement in the church community was a testament to his kindness and generosity.
Outside of his work and community involvement, Philip had a variety of interests and hobbies that brought him joy. He enjoyed camping, traveling, and woodworking, always seeking new experiences and opportunities to create with his hands.
Philip’s memory will be forever cherished by his surviving family members, including his sons Scott (Kammy) Francis, Randy Francis, his daughter-in-law Debbie Francis, and son-in-law Jack Cunningham. He is also survived by his grandchildren: Robin (Adam) Cline, Chad (Megan) Francis, Sarah Atkins, Rodney Francis, Jenna (Andrew) Barton, Patrick (Rebecca) Francis, Kenny (Tiffany Longest) Francis, Kari Francis, Brent Francis, and Logan Heiser. He leaves behind 10 great-grandchildren, and 2 great-great grandchildren.
Philip was predeceased by his parents, as well as by his loved ones, wife Myra Francis, brother James Francis Jr., daughter Colleen Cunningham, and son Bruce Francis. Although he may have left this world, his memory will live on in the hearts of those who knew and loved him.
A memorial service to honor and celebrate Philip’s life will be held on June 15, 2024, at 11:00 AM with visitation one hour before. In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, memorial gifts may be sent to Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church, 2201 County Road 900 East, Champaign, IL 61822.
Philip R. Francis leaves behind a legacy of love, dedication, and compassion. His presence will be deeply missed, but his spirit will continue to inspire all who had the privilege of knowing him. May he rest in peace, knowing he was truly loved and cherished.