Tucker Adam Francis, age 19, died on January 31st in a snorkeling accident in the Virgin Islands. He lost consciousness while free diving, a condition called shallow-water blackout. He was spending the winter of his gap year working as the chef on Tabor Academys schooner, the Tabor Boy, during the Caribbean Studies program. In the fall he was headed to Santa Clara University to study engineering. Tucker was a joyous, kind young man with twinkling blue eyes and an infectious smile. He was happiest when doing anything with family and friends, and loved to ride his Ninja motorcycle, build a drone, whack a golf ball at Kittansett, fix anything mechanical, create a cool new gizmo out of carbon fiber, gobble a huge plate of sushi at Turks, kite board, scuba dive, ski, play lacrosse, or work out to the thump of loud rap. On a moments notice he could whip up a mean pan of fried rice or stir-fried pasta, perfectly grill a platter of flat-iron steak, or bake a batch of chocolate-chip cookies for a gang of his friends. Local residents may have enjoyed his cooking last summer at Tucker and Zacks Snack Shack at the Piney Point Beach Club or last fall at Kates Eats. The first 12 years of his life were spent in Locust, New Jersey, where he attended the Rumson Country Day School. Tucker and his family moved to Marion in 2009, then set off on a 13-month sailing adventure to Nova Scotia, the Caribbean, and Central America. Upon returning, he was welcomed into 7th and 8th grades by Friends Academy in North Dartmouth MA. Tucker then attended high school at Tabor Academy as a day student, where his personality and confidence blossomed | academically, athletically, and musically. The new Maker Space at Tabor was one of his favorite places, where he learned to weld, use a 3D printer, design electrical circuits, build electronics, and teach younger students his new-found passions. During two summers he was employed as the cook on the Tabor Boy for orientation cruises around Buzzards Bay, where his love deepened for the vessel, its crew, and Marions home waters. This past November he crewed on the schooner as it sailed from Marion to Bermuda and on to the Virgin Islands, delighted to be part of the team that included some of his best friends and most respected mentors. Tuckers parents, Peter and Jennifer, are Marion natives, and his sister, Holly, attends college at Stanford University. Grandpa Earl Briggs and his wife Mimi also live in Marion, as does his Uncle David, with cousin Christopher nearby in Wareham. Close family members also include the Briggses in Sherborn and Boston MA; the Dades in Norwich VT, San Francisco CA, and Boston MA; the Zinns in Steamboat Springs CO, Vail CO, and Bozeman MT; the Dowlings in Timmonsville SC; the Kunze/Dades in Seattle WA; Nancy Francis in Aiken SC; the Hamills in Richmond VA and New York City; the Roberts in London, England; and the many members of the Francis and Huber families near and far. No words or gestures will ever fill the hole created by the loss of this amazing young man, but the entire Francis family is immensely appreciative of the love and support from the many friends and families who were touched by Tucker around the world. A celebration of Tuckers life will be held in the spring. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Tuckers memory to the Tabor Boy Deckhouse Fund, as this space on the schooner is at the heart of crew life aboard, and it will need to be replaced in the near future. The image of Tabor Boy crews gathering for decades to come in the new deckhouse that Tucker helped build is a happy one and would make him proud.
Published in The Sentinel - Marion from Feb. 7 to Feb. 16, 2017.