TRAVERSE CITY — Mark A. Francis, 64, of Traverse City, passed away peacefully Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013, surrounded by family who will always love him, following a courageous battle with cancer. Mark was born on Nov. 21, 1949, in Chicago, Ill., to the late Arthur and Nancy Francis.
He graduated from Saugatuck High School in 1967 and earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Western University in 1971. Mark earned an MA in counseling in 1973 from Wayne State University.
In 1975 he and his family moved to Traverse City, where he was employed by D.D.S. until 2002.
Mark served our country honorably in the United States Army from 1971 to 1974. He was stationed in West Berlin, East Germany, for the majority of his service.
Mark’s kindness and wit were features that he carried with him to the end. He loved to travel. He enjoyed taking walks in the surrounding woods, and he cherished spending time with the family and friends he adored, especially his five grandchildren. Mark enjoyed riding his bike around the area and made it a point to share his smile with all those who crossed his path.
Mark’s life could be defined best by his faith, the love of his family and the many friends who so positively impacted his life. He will be so deeply missed by those who knew and loved him.
Mark is survived by his loving wife of 43 years, Dawn; children, Christopher (Dawn) Francis, of Park Ridge, Ill., and Angela (Patrick) Machin, of Traverse City; grandchildren, Mark, Abigail, Matthew, Charles and Alice; brother, Guy Francis; uncle, Don Delzell; brothers-in-law, Ben Becksvoort, Tom Klassen and Cal Sterenberg; sisters-in-law, Maria Francis, Connie Francis, Bev Becksvoort, Sheryl Klaasen and Marilyn Sterenberg; 12 nieces and nephews; and many other wonderful family and friends.
Mark was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Rex Francis; and aunts, Marcelle Compondu and Mitzi Delzell.
A memorial service for Mark will be held at 1 p.m., with visitation one hour prior, on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014, at Traverse Bay United Methodist Church, 1200 Ramsdell Road, Traverse City, MI 49684. The Rev. Jane Lippert will officiate.
Memorial contributions may be directed to Traverse Bay United Methodist Church or his favorite charity, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Please feel free to share your thoughts or memories with Mark’s family at www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com.
The family is being served by the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services.