Charles A. Francis, age 84, of Bryan, Ohio, passed away at his home on Wednesday, October 1, 2014. Charlie worked for 20 years as the Director of Research and Development at Anderson-Vreeland Inc. in Bryan, who sought him out from his former employer, Tenak, in New Jersey. Charlie was an avid sportsman, earning the nickname “Snakey” in high school because of his speed and agility.
Soon after high school, Charlie and a friend joined the United States Marine Corps. Charlie was assigned to the 1st Air & Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, Fleet Marine Force. During his service in the Korean War, he was involved in amphibious landings at Pohang Dong, Iwon and Inchon, Korea. He was involved in combat action against Red Chinese forces near Hungnam, Korea. During his time in service, Charlie received the following awards: Presidential Unit Citation with 1 star, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, Combat Action Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, Navy Occupation Medal with Korea and Japan Clasp, National Defense Service Ribbon, Korean Service Medal with 3 stars, United Nations Service Medal and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal. Upon leaving the Marine Corps, Charlie resided in Chicago and worked for Tenneco until 1968, then moved to New Jersey before moving to Bryan. He loved football and was an avid Chicago Bears fan. He was also a devoted golfer who could be seen on the links several days a week. He would frequently win the longest drive, even at the youthful age of 80! Later in life, Charlie picked up the hobby of wood-working and became proficient. Through genealogical research, it was found some of his ancestors were ship builders and cabinet makers. He was a member of the Bryan American Legion Post 284.
Charles Francis was born November 17, 1929, in West Frankfort, Illinois, the son of Robert and Winnifred (Hill) Francis. He married Phyllis J. “PJ” Myatt and she preceded him in death. He later married Donave “Donnie” (Gericke) Johnson and she survives. Charlie is also survived by his daughter, Carol (Wesley) Roan, of Indian Land, South Carolina; sons, Charles “Chuck” (Cherie) Francis, of rural Ney, Ohio, Robert (Theresa) Francis, of Iola, Kansas, and Patrick Francis, of Bryan; stepsons, Mike (Cheryl) Johnson, of Bryan, and Tim (Terrie) Johnson, of Sherwood; 14 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, first wife, Phyllis “PJ” Francis, son, James J. Francis, stepdaughter, Pamela Dunlap, four brothers, Lester, Robert, Franklin and William Francis, and two sisters, Mary Francis and Florence Sorrell.
Funeral services for Charles A. Francis will be held on Monday, October 6, 2014, at 1:00 P.M. at the Krill Funeral Home, 860 West Mulberry Street, Bryan, Ohio. Visitation will be held on Monday from 11:00 A.M. until the time of the service. Burial will follow at Fountain Grove Cemetery, Bryan. Grave side military rites will be presented by the United States Marine Corps and Bryan American Legion Post 284.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Charlie are requested to the Michael J. Fox Parkinson’s Foundation.