Longtime local resident Kenneth L. Francis, 81, of Longview went home to Jesus Jan. 20, 2023, peacefully in his sleep surrounded by the love of family.
He was born Aug. 2, 1941, in Mt. Vernon, Wash., to Earl L. and Josephine M. (Runndgren) Francis. Ken attended Mt. Vernon High School, while working on the family’s dairy farm. He graduated in 1959. He then majored in mechanical drawing at Skagit Valley Community College. It was during this time fellow college student Sandy McCord rented an apartment from Ken’s mother. Ken and Sandy were married in Seattle in 1963.
Ken was a lab tech for Weyerhaeuser from 1965 to 1978, a general contractor until 1983, and worked for Tollycraft Yachts in Kelso before retiring from Huntington Junior High’s Maintenance Department in 2006.
He was a member of the State Guard at Camp Murray in Tacoma in his younger years. Ken was an avid collector of military paraphernalia, and loved gardening, especially orchids and roses. His green thumb grafting skills provided rose bushes for numerous friends and family. Ken will be remembered for his humor and kind heart.
Ken is survived by his wife Sandy Francis at home; a daughter and son-in-law, Nancy Jo and Chuck Tilton of Longview; a son and daughter-in-law, Mathew T. and Darnell Francis of Halfway, Ore.; four grandchildren, Rachael Tilton of Longview, Rebekah Burns (Chris) and Maxwell Tilton (Kealey), both of Lexington, and Ethan Francis of Portland; and a great-granddaughter, Hazel Joy Burns of Lexington.
He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother.
A memorial service is planned for 11 a.m. Friday, March 24 at Father’s House Church. Pastor Larry Russell will officiate. Ken’s ashes will be laid to rest in the family plot in Halfway, Ore.