James Wilson Francis (Jim) quietly left this earthly life on Thursday, Dec. 27 surrounded by his loving family. As one poet said, “As when a lordly cedar, green with bough, goes down with a great shout upon the hill, and leaves a lonesome place against the sky.” So it will be with Jim. We will all sorely miss him. He was a loving husband, father and grandfather. He was born in Ogden, Utah on Christmas day, Dec. 25, 1949, to Homer Wilson Francis and Marie Rich Francis. He was raised and educated in Morgan and graduated from Morgan High School where he was involved in the sports programs, especially football.
Soon after graduating from high school, he started working for Morgan City cemetery where he worked for thirty years. He was especially respectful to the widows whose husbands were buried there, seeing that the gravesite was properly prepared and cared for. He instilled in the young men who worked with him that same respect and work ethic.
He married the love of his life, Kathy Hiatt, on March 18, 1983 in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints temple in Salt Lake City. They have two sons and two daughters, Amanda (J.B.) Sullivan, St. George; Stephen James Francis, Mesquite; Michael Wilson (Jessica) Francis, Las Vegas; and Jamie Marie Francis, St. George. One baby granddaughter and a foster son, Jared Prenovest.
They raised their family in Morgan where Jim got to know nearly everyone in the county, he called them all his “buddies.” His work at the cemetery helped to give service to many people and that is what he liked to do, help others.
Jim was a very faithful Latter-day Saint, holding many different callings in the Elders quorum presidency and the High Priest quorum in Morgan. He loved the Lord and was not afraid to “open his mouth” and talk to people about the church. He had a strong testimony. Many people were touched by his word and example.
Jim loved life. He was very enthusiastic about everything he did. He loved the outdoors, hunting fishing, skiing. His love of sports led him to be inducted to the Morgan High School booster’s hall of fame with life admittance to all the games. Whenever Morgan played a regional or state game, he was there.
He was a great cyclist. He could be seen often riding his bike around the county. In 2010, he with a friend, planned a cross-country bike ride for a charitable cause. He raised money for it, planned stopovers at different cities for firesides, but because of health problems he wasn’t able to go.
In 2003, Jim felt a strong need to move to Mesquite, Nev. He knew he had something to do there. That need was filled in many ways. He worked for an organization called “Focal Point” that was for troubled boys. He loved and helped those boys. One became his foster son, Jared Prenovest. He lives out of state now but is still Jim and Kathy’s son. Jim and Kathy were called as missionaries in the LDS 12 step program to help those with addictions. Here, as in Morgan, he had other callings in the church such as ward mission leader. He lived a rich and full life. He met life’s challenges with courage, great determination and perseverance. He was welcomed home by our Savior and his Heavenly Father and his earthly parents.
He is survived by his wife, children and granddaughter. He is also survived by his three brothers: Michael Rich Francis (Diane), San Luis Obispo, Ca; Randy Scott Francis (Barbara), Chester, Idaho; and Roger Lee Francis (Carma), Rexburg, Idaho.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, Dec. 29, at 11 a.m. at 100 N. Arrowhead Lane, LDS Mesquite 4th ward, Mesquite, Nev. Friends may call at the Virgin Valley Mortuary, 320 Old Mill Road, Friday from 6-8 p.m., and Saturday morning from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. at the church. Interment will be at the Mesquite Cemetary.