CHARLESTON, IL – Richard Wayne Francis, age 91 of Charleston, Illinois, passed away peacefully in his sleep Tuesday, November 9, 2021, at Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center in Mattoon, IL. The funeral service, honoring and celebrating his life will be held at Noon on Saturday, November 13, 2021, at Adams Funeral Chapel in Charleston with visitation from 10:00 a.m. until service time. Burial will follow in Graham Chapel Cemetery in Moultrie County near Allenville, Illinois. Memorials in his honor may be made to Habitat for Humanity or to Oakland Christian Church. Memorials may be left at the visitation/service or mailed to Adams Funeral Chapel, 2330 Shawnee Drive, Charleston, IL 61920.
Richard was born March 13, 1930, in Paris, Illinois, a son of Bernie and Lavona (Bolin) Francis. He married the love of his life, Wilda Arlene Hoskins on June 5, 1955, and she preceded him in death on February 26, 2020. They shared 65 wonderful years of marriage. He is survived by his two sons, Rick Francis and wife Sharon of Champaign, Illinois and Gary Francis and wife Diana of Casey, Illinois; six grandchildren, Rebecca Marshall and husband Adam, and Meagan Svymbersky and husband Jordan, all of Champaign, Caleb Francis of Charleston, Brooke Leasure and husband Brett of Morris, Illinois, Dani Welch and husband Rob of Philo, Illinois, and Anthany Wingo and wife Aubrey Simpson of Houston, Texas; and six great-grandchildren. In addition to Wilda, he was preceded in death by an infant son, as well as his parents.
Richard was a graduate of Roosevelt High School in Portland, Oregon. He attended Eastern Illinois University where he met the love of his life and attained his Bachelors in Industrial Arts in 1955. He was a member of Oakland Christian Church, Salisbury Church, and a past member of the Oakland Lions Club.
When Richard was not teaching, he enjoyed spending time remodeling homes, building homes and running Oakland’s only Car Wash. Upon retirement he assisted Habitat for Humanity and several other building projects. He started one of the first building trades programs in the state at Oakland High School. From 1968 to 1995, Rich and 97 different students built 8 houses in and around Oakland. Richard coached men’s and women’s sports throughout the years at both Brockton High School and Oakland High School. A highlight of his coaching career was leading the Oakland basketball team to several sectional titles. Richard loved playing the trombone; in high school he played in swing band as well as his high school marching band that marched in the 1947 Rose Bowl Parade. While in the army he was a member for the Fort Bragg Drum and Bugle Core. He was a man that put family first, always helping others and giving of his time, he will be greatly missed by friends and family.
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