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William David Francis

April 6, 1953 January 23, 2018
William David Francis
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Obituary for William David Francis

William David "Bill" Francis, 64, of Grinnell, passed away January 23, 2018 at the Mayflower Community Health Care Center.

A memorial service is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. Saturday, January 27th at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Grinnell, with the Rev. Kevin Emge officiating. Music will be provided by The Too Many Strings Band and Carolyn Bosse as organist.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to the Drake Community Library, Grinnell Regional Hospice, or PALS (Poweshiek County Animal League Shelter).

Bill was born on April 6, 1953, in Dunkirk, New York to Thomas Charles and Elizabeth Kerr Francis; he grew up in Springville, New York. Bill earned his BA at SUNY Binghamton, PhD at the University of Pittsburgh, and MBA at the University of Iowa.

After earning his PhD in Social Psychology, Bill taught at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, where he met Lori French. On July 2, 1983, Bill and Lori were united in marriage in Appleton. They later moved to Washington, D.C., where Bill served as the Director of Academic Computing at Georgetown University. In 1986, eager to live in a small community, Bill accepted a position at Grinnell College as the Associate Director of Computing. Bill went on to serve as the Director of Information Technology for 26 years. Bill retired from Grinnell College in 2013.

Grinnell proved to be the perfect community for Bill and Lori to raise their three children, Andy, Henry, and Claire. In addition to raising his three children, Bill enjoyed spending time outdoors hiking, kayaking, and most especially cycling and playing tennis. He was also a passionate reader whose favorite topics included American history, naval history, and the American railroad.

In addition to serving on various boards in the Grinnell community, Bill was a member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church and Fortnightly.

Bill is survived by his three children, Andrew J. Francis of Sarnath, India; R. Henry Francis of Washington, D.C.; and Claire E. Francis of Chicago, Illinois; his former spouse, Lori French Smith; and three siblings, Joan (Frank) Hall of Walton, New York; Thomas C. (Renee) Francis of Spring, Texas; and Lynn (Martin) Nowak of East Aurora, New York. Bill was preceded in death by his parents.

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of William David Francis, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events

funeral service




2:00 PM 1/27/2018 2:00:00 PM
St. Paul's Episcopal Church

1026 State St., Grinnell, IA 50112

St. Paul's Episcopal Church
1026 State St., Grinnell, IA 50112

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