Condolences for Richard Evan Francies

Jenna Senol, Education Assistant to Volunteers, Cleveland Metrop posted on 11/1/11

On behalf of the many volunteers at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, we offer our condolences to Richard's family and friends. He was a wonderful emeritus docent volunteer at the Zoo, and loved to post at the Wolf Wilderness lodge. He is remembered as a warm and caring person. Richard will be missed.

 

Debbie Peet posted on 10/30/11

I have many happy memories of conversations with Dick at Kiwanis events. He was always upbeat, a kind and caring gentleman. My heart and prayers go out to his family and Peg. He was truly a good and special man.Love,Deb

 

Bill McClure posted on 10/19/11

It was during a trip to the Phillipines in 2005 to retrace the footsteps of our Uncle Robert McClure, that I met Richard. We were on a Valour Tour that traced the steps of the Bataan Death March. Richard and my wife Ruth and I spent an awful lot of time together and had dinner every evening. I couldn't get enough of his willingness to share information and stories about what had happened at each stop of the trip. Upon returning to the US, he and I started a regular correspondence and periodic phone conversation which helped our family find a wealth of in formation on what happened to my uncle. He had survived the Death March, prison camp and was being transported to Japan on an unmarked troup ship that was sunk by our subs. Richard helped me find out that the ship was the Arisan Maru, and that 1100 hundred perrished and six survived. My Uncle wasn't one. Dick sent me a video tape of the sinking of that ship. It had been taken by the Japanese and was from a military archives that he somehow found. I'm sure many families received similar assistance from him, he was just that kind of guy. We continued our phone calls until he had to move into a more acute care facility. I miss those calls and will miss him. My wife Ruth and I send our deepest sympathy to Sue, Kathy and family and to Richard's extended family of many friends. Bill McClure

 

John Lukacs posted on 10/18/11

I am sorry to hear of the recent passing of Mr. Francies, whom I had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know on my first trip to the Philippines in May 2002. He was an incredible individual and it was an honor to befriend him during our trip; I'll always remember his vivid memories and descriptions of the colorful sunsets in the Philippines, of which he was very fond of. After the trip, I wrote a feature story on Mr. Francies for the Cleveland Plain Dealer and even later utilized some of his stories and experiences while conducting research for my book, Escape From Davao. I'd like to offer my sympathies and condolences to his family and friends. Sincerely, John D. Lukacswww.johndlukacs.com

 

Becky Hart posted on 10/18/11

Dick and my father, Jesse, were lifelong friends.At age 13, they crossed the street from where they lived to go to Epworth-Euclid Church because they heard there was a basketball court there-and they never left that church. I admired Dick every time I saw him in the community at Kiwanis, Playhouse Square and the Heights Home Tours, doing things for other people. He leaves behind the stories about the Bataan march that most people might not have known about without his talks on the subject. He had an impact on many people's lives.

 

Annette Jones McDonald posted on 10/17/11

I grew up with my family and R.E.'s family being very close. Christmas Eve was always spend with the Francies Family, alternating between our home and theirs. Santa would visit when we were young. I have many, many fond memories of time spent with the Francies Family. Kathy and I grew up together. R.E. had a movie camera and captured many events on film.When my generation was older and scattered across the country, R.E. would visit and then mail wonderful letters which always had photos of family --his and/or mine --enclosed.My life was enriched by having R.E. Francies as part of it. He was such a kind and giving man. I will miss him terribly. Rest in peace.

 

Carolyn (Yanda) Leu posted on 10/16/11

I knew Mr. Francies through my Dad (George Yanda) and the Kiwanis Club activities. Mr. Francies was truly a gentleman with a gracious listening ear for the young people around him. I always looked forward to the conversations that I would have with him and Peg.My thoughts and prayers are with the family now, especially you, Peg. Rest assured in the promise of the resurrection, that you will see him again in heaven.

 

George C. Yanda posted on 10/15/11

We met at Dick's first meeting of our Kiwanis Club and sat together at dinner. Near the end of dinner I glanced over and noticed that the bed of rice was untouched. I remember noting " Dick , you don't care for rice. I found out that over 1200 pounds of rice had been the menue for the duration of his ordeal. Dick was one of our most active members.He was atvertually every event, Pancake Day, Cain Park Art festival, Heights Heritage Tour, Spring Egg Hunt, Punt Pass and Kick competition and Steak roast. He was responsible for the lighting of theAmerican flag at the then new Cleveland Heights City Hall in order that the flag cold fly day and night.A modest true hero, a gentleman and a friend.Thanks for the memories, Ann & George Yanda

 

Edward Haering, jr. posted on 10/15/11

A great man, the former POW is now truly free in heaven.