CHARLESTON, IL – Wilda Arlene Francis, age 87 of Charleston and formerly of Oakland, Illinois, passed away peacefully in the comfort of her home on Wednesday, February 26, 2020. The funeral service, honoring and celebrating her life will be held at Noon on Monday, March 2, 2020 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 her honor may be made to a charity of the donor’s preference and may be left at the visitation/service or mailed to Adams Funeral Chapel, 2330 Shawnee Drive, Charleston, IL 61920.
Wilda was born September 18, 1932 in Sullivan, Illinois, a daughter of the late Willis and Ruth (Hoskins) Davis. She became the bride of Richard Francis on June 5, 1955 and they have shared 64 years of marriage. In addition to her loving and devoted husband, she is survived by 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 and fiancé Sarah Philabaum of Charleston, Brooke Leasure and husband Brett of Morris, Illinois, Danni Welch and husband Rob of Philo, Illinois, and Anthony Wingo and fiancé Aubrey Simpson of Houston, Texas; seven great-grandchildren; and her sister Pat Marsh of Charleston. She was preceded in death by an infant son and a sister, Marilyn Corzine.
Wilda was a graduate of Sullivan High School and attained her Bachelor’s Degree from Eastern Illinois University. She was a respected and dedicated educator in the Oakland School District for 32 years and a Jr. High boy’s basketball coach in the early 1960’s. She was a member of the Oakland Christian Church, Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and enjoyed the friendships of her fellow Country Club Bridge Club members.
Wilda was a gifted artist and was recognized for her artwork. Her support for her family was evident throughout their lives and especially at their sporting events and other activities. She was always in attendance not only to cheer them on but to help in any way possible. She embraced her role as a grandmother and enjoyed many memorable trips with her grandchildren. Wilda’s family will forever cherish their many fond memories as they reflect on the times shared with such a special wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and sister.
The Funeral Service celebrating the life of Wilda Francis was held at noon on Monday, March 2, 2020 at Adams Funeral Chapel with her son Gary Francis providing the message assisted by Reverend Joy Starwalt. The eulogy was given by Rick Francis, also a son of Wilda's. Musical selections included "Great Is Thy Faithfulness", "Old Rugged Cross" and "When the Roll is Called Up Yonder". Burial followed at Graham Chapel Cemetery located in East Nelson Township, Moultrie County, Illinois. Pallbearers were: Rob Baker, Adam Marshal, Rick Francis, Rob Welch, Gary Francis and Brett Leasure. Honorary Pallbearers were: Caleb Francis, Anthony Wingo, Robert Blagg and Jodan Svymersky.
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