Joe Wesley Francis, age 60, of Lamar, passed away Wednesday evening, February 7, 2018, surrounded by loved ones at his home.
Joe was born January 22, 1958, in Kansas City, Missouri, graduated from Lamar High School in 1976, and earned a nursing degree from Pittsburg State. A natural and compassionate caregiver, Joe touched countless lives throughout his career in Joplin and Carthage hospitals as well as far from home during his 32 years as a medic in the Army National Guard. He was deployed to Iraq in 2008 and served there for 16 months. Regardless of the circumstance that caused their paths to cross, anyone who met Joe was encouraged by his positive outlook, uplifted by his quick wit and sense of humor, confident in knowing they had met a friend whose word could be trusted, and were truly blessed by time spent with Joe.
On September 10, 1984, Joe married Lori Kennell, and they made their home and raised their two daughters in Lamar. Joe’s remarkable life legacy is evidenced by the priority he placed on relationships and the devotion he had for God, his family, friends, co-workers, and patients. He chose recreation that could be shared with friends and family, whether watching his beloved St. Louis Cardinals, golfing with his favorite girls, coaching youth baseball, or following any sport that involved his kids or grandkids. Active in his community, Joe was a member of Oakton United Methodist Church and Lamar Masonic Lodge, had served on the Barton County Ambulance Board, and was a volunteer fireman for many years.
Joe was preceded in death by his father, Rex Francis, in 2002.
Survivors include his wife of 33 years, Lori; his mother, Maxine Francis, Lamar; daughters, Lindsay Lucas, Webb City, and Hannah Jo Francis, of the home; grandchildren, Jackson Lucas, Wyatt and Parker Grace Lucas; his sister, Jill (Marshal) Jenkins, Lamar; parents-in-law, Ken & Lana Barnes, Neosho; sister-in-law, Leslie (Shawn) Maberry, Lamar; nieces and nephews, Lauren (Roman) Lehman, Landon (Taylor) Maberry, Tisha (Fernando) Ramos, and Brian Jenkins; and a large extended family.
The family will receive friends immediately following a Masonic Rites Ceremony beginning at 3:00 p.m. Sunday, February 11th at Daniel Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Monday at Oakton United Methodist Church followed by burial with full military honors at Memory Gardens Cemetery.
Memorial contributions are suggested to Watered Gardens Gospel Rescue Mission in Joplin, Missouri or Oakton United Methodist Church Building Fund in care of the funeral home.
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