William Dee Francis
1942 - 2013
Bill left this earth with his Family present on Friday 22. Bill was born on March 26, 1942, in Rexburg ID, to Robert L. (Lynn) Francis and Norma Labrum Francis. The family moved to Boise shortly after his father's return from WWII.
He attended Boise Public Schools (Franklin Grade School, West JR High and Borah High), where he was an outstanding student and athlete. Those skills afforded him a scholarship to BYU, where he played freshman football. His sophomore year he transferred to Western State College of Colorado, where he continued to play football and baseball. He graduated with a BA in Business in 1964.
After graduation he worked briefly as a Market Manager for Proctor and Gamble, before returning to Boise to teach math at Hillside Jr. High. With the Vietnam War heating up, he left Boise and joined the US Air Force, to attend flight school. He completed his training in 1969 and was assigned as a pilot for C-130 transports. He served one tour of duty, ferrying troops and cargo in and out of Vietnam and other parts of SE Asia, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross. Returning to the US after his Vietnam service, he was stationed in Enid, OK, where continued to fly missions in the US and Europe.
In 1974, he was hired as commercial airline pilot by Delta Air Lines. During his 25+ year career at Delta he was promoted to the rank of Captain of the Boeing 737 aircraft, and saw the entire US. He also found time to obtain his Masters in Public Administration from Indiana University-South Bend in 1979. After station assignments in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and finally Salt Lake, he retired to Boise where he loved living, until his death.
After retirement, he continued to pursue his interests in oil painting and music (guitar). He enjoyed spending time at his ranch in Sweet and his home in the foothills watching and participating in the nature offered in Idaho. He joined with his Native American friends at the Northwest Pow Wow's and was part of the traditional dance group.
He followed his deep care for disadvantaged children by serving as a volunteer for Court Appointed Special Advocate Assn. (CASA). He carried a case load until shortly before his death.
He was preceded in death by his Father and Mother. He is survived by his sister Linda (Bill) Rodenbach, Boise, brother Terry Francis, Boise, son Brit (Samantha) Francis, Munster, IN, grandson Xavier, his niece Megan (Reed) Peterman , their daughters Taryn and Addison, and his constant companion Splash.
A remembrance of Bill will be held at Relyea Funeral Chapel, 318 N. Latah St., Boise, on Wednesday, March 27 from 6 to 7:30 PM. Military Honors and Interment will be Thursday, March 28, 2 PM, at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to CASA or the Humane Society.
Published in Idaho Statesman on Mar. 26, 2013