In Loving Memory
Gary R. Francis
October 30, 1946 -June 28, 2014
Gary Ray Francis passed away peacefully at his home after a short battle with pancreatic cancer on June 28. He was 67. Gary was born in Riverside CA on October 30, 1946 to Harvey Monroe and Annie Laverne Francis. When he was 10 years old the family moved to Lee Vining, CA. There he learned to hunt and fish in the Sierra Mountains and help his dad, a lineman for the power company, fix downed power lines in the snow. He spent the summers exploring the areas around Mono Lake. In the winter he was a fair weather skier on Mammoth Mountain.
At age 15 the family moved to a small ranch in Ashland. He loved to bow hunt with his friend in the Cascades and ride his horse Hayboy. Gary had the responsibility of milking the cows and raising the farm animals when his father was gone during the week on electrical work. He graduated in 1964. Gary then joined the Air Force serving as a policeman in Japan and Alaska.
Gary started The Shopper want ad newspaper and Gary’s Quik Save Printing in Pendleton, OR There he became the proud father of two children. He sold The Shopper to The Nickel to move back to the Rogue Valley. He did advertising sales and ad layout for a time. In 1981 he met and married Rita McClenahan who he called “my life”. In 1985 he decided to become a long haul truck driver and worked for Interstate Distributors for over 27 years.
Gary and Rita enjoyed their property in Trail, OR for 32 years. He especially enjoyed watching the wildlife and cutting wood for the winter. He would spend his free time cutting and thinning trees on the home acreage, reading, listening to classic country music, Bluegrass or church music. Gary tried to spend as much time as he could with his children from his previous marriage, teaching them things about the outdoors and the real meaning of life.
He was a member of Our Lady Fatima Catholic Church and would take any opportunity to explain his love for Christ and His Church. He was an avid reader of Church history, philosophy, science and the early Church Fathers. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus.
Gary is survived by his wife Rita, daughter Stephanie (Peter) Voight, grandchildren Johnathan, Joshua, Sianna and Samantha and his son, Matthew (Erika) Francis, grandchildren Marissa and Madelynn, sister, Dotty Pantle, two aunts, one uncle, four nephews and many cousins. He was predeceased by his parents, his brother Charles, and a nephew, Paul Pantle.
A Funeral Mass will be offered on July 3, at 11:00 a.m. at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church, Shady Cove, OR. A gathering will be held in the parish hall following Mass with Interment at the VA cemetery in Eagle Point at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to a favorite Christian charity. Arrangements were made by Abbey Funeral Home.