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  • "Dear Katy, Dil and I were so shocked to hear of Francis'..."
    - Dan & Dil Stack
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Service Information
Fernwood Funeral Home Cemetery & Crematory
301 Tennessee Valley Rd
Mill Valley, CA
Memorial service
Monday, Mar. 9, 2020
3:00 PM
Cathedral of Saint Matthew the Apostle
1725 Rhode Island Ave, NW
Washington, DC
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Memorial service
Saturday, Apr. 4, 2020
2:00 PM
St. John's Episcopal Church of the Epiphany
14 Lagunitas Road
Ross, CA
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McGOVERN Francis Edward McGovern II Passed away unexpectedly on February 14, 2020, at age 74. Francis's birth in Albemarle County, Virginia marked his family's sixth generation. Francis graduated from Yale University and the University of Virginia School of Law, and served his country as a Captain in the U.S.Marine Corps. A widely revered and innovative legal scholar and gifted teacher, Francis was a tenured Professor of Law at Duke University and Associate Professor at The University of California Hastings College of Law and taught in various capacities at dozens of law schools nationally and internationally. He was a prolific author in leading legal publications, highlighting his innovative and insightful approaches to the practical application of the law and strategic thinking. Not only were students broadened and enriched by Francis, but throughout the United States and abroad Francis worked with esteemed members of the federal and state judiciaries, mediators, and attorneys, helping them apply and improve the law to resolve intractable problems with creative solutions. Francis was a frequent lecturer or moderator at professional conferences and also served on dozens of legal and university boards and committees, serving as President of the academy of Court-Appointed Masters as well as numerous settlement trust or compensation centers and institutes. As a court-appointed special master or neutral expert, Francis developed innovative and lasting solutions in most of the significant US mass-claim litigation, including the DDT toxic exposure litigation, Dalkon-Shield controversy, and silicone gel breast implant litigation. More recently, Francis was serving as the special master addressing abatement of mold in New York public housing, and global settlement efforts to address the national opioid crisis. Francis knew how to balance his professional pursuits and achievements with life's small pleasures. He was a thoughtful and generous man who loved traveling and discovery, lively discussions, music and theatre, reading, golf and swimming. Francis was an active and engaged sportsman relishing polo and fox hunting through the wooded hills of Virginia, earning his colors with three hunt clubs: Farmington, Keswick, and Oakridge. He wrote a musical performed at the Bohemian Grove. Francis was a man of complexity and vitality, relishing life on many levels. And in every pursuit of his life, though he was relentless and unstoppable, Francis never treated anyone with disrespect or raised his voice; he was encouraging, engaged, gracious, and genuinely interested in others. Though Francis was, and will remain, an inspiration and icon for multiple generations of professionals, colleagues, and friends, he was a strong and caring family man. His unconditional love and devotion for his wife Katy, and his children and grandchildren reflect the legacy that Francis truly valued most. Francis was the beloved husband of Katy, father to Henry McGovern (Michelle), Elizabeth Brann (Michael), Clare Lewis (Chris), and Laura McNealey (Alex), and grandfather to Isabelle, Madeleine, Colston, and Caroline. Two memorial services in celebration of the life of Francis McGovern will be held: Cathedral of Saint Matthew the Apostle, 1725 Rhode Island Ave, NW, Washington DC 20036 on Monday, March 9, 2020 at 3 p.m., reception to follow at The Mayflower Hotel, one block from the cathedral. St. John's Episcopal Church of the Epiphany, 14 Lagunitas Road, Ross, California 94957, on Saturday, April 4, 2020 at 2 p.m., reception to follow. Please RSVP: [email protected]">[email protected]">[email protected]">[email protected] In lieu of flowers, the family requests that gifts be made to the Francis E. McGovern Foundation, PO Box 1556, Ross, CA 94957, for the furthering development of higher legal education and alternative dispute resolution.In lieu of flowers, the family requests that gifts be made to the Francis E. McGovern Foundation, PO Box 1556, Ross, CA 94957, for the furthering development of higher legal education and alternative dispute resolution.
Published in The Washington Post on Feb. 23, 2020
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