Leon Francis, 63, was born on February 13, 1957, son of the late Mary Lee Francis and Lawrence Butler Sr., in Bronx, New York.
Leon attended New York public schools and John Jay College of New York. In 1977, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps (Semper Fi) and was Honorably Discharge in 1990 with the rank of Sergeant. After being discharged from the Marine Corps, he worked as a Correctional Officer at Rikers Island Prison. After relocating to Virginia, he became a Juvenile Detention Counselor for the cities of Newport News, Williamsburg, and Hampton. Leon pursued a career in sales as a Supervisor at MCI Worldcom and Fairfield Resorts. He later retired from Eggleston Services as a Direct Care Professional for adults with disabilities. Leon loved life and always wanted to inspire others to overcome life’s obstacles.
Leon truly loved working with people and helping others. He was a member of New Horizon Music Ministries and the American Legion Post #368, Newport News. In his spare time, he enjoyed spending time with his family and watching sports. He was a true New York Giants and Knicks fan! His smile was contagious and would light up a room.
In 2009, Leon was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. He always said, “I may have Parkinson’s, but Parkinson’s doesn’t have me”.
Leon is preceded in death by his grandparents, sister, Irene Francis Gabriel, beloved daughter, Ebony Francis Jennings, stepfather, William Perry, mother-in-law, Sarah A. Thompson, and sister-in-law, Sheila Lynn Thompson.
He leaves cherished memories with his dear wife of twenty-one years, Daphne Thompson-Francis; son, Andre’ Francis; daughters, Dominique Dubose (Dewayne), Sheila Francis, and Arlanda Thompson; grandchildren, Claude Jr., Reign, Sariah, Faith, Grace, Anthony Jr., Gabrielle, Jayden, and Elijah; siblings, Patricia Ferebee (Van), Williemae Etheridge, Linda Blackman (Rudolph), William Francis, Troy Perry (Tina), Derick Francis, Terry Perry, Lawrence Butler Jr., and Alfred Butler; son-in-law, John Jennings; brothers-in-law; Clarence Gabriel, and Alston Thompson (Sherri); sisters-in-law, Doris Thompson Rodgers and Sarah Thompson; special friends, Willie F. Pettus Jr. (Buttermilk), Fred Simmons, Morgan Barker, Jeffery Hudson, and Marva Potts; and a host of other loving relatives and friends.
A service of remembrance with Military Honors will be held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, February 27, 2020, at Colossian Baptist Church, Newport News. Family and friends to assemble at the church by 10:30 a.m.
Professional services entrusted to the staff of Whiting’s Funeral Home, 7005 Pocahontas Trail, Williamsburg, Virginia 23185. 757-229-3011. whitingsfuneralhome.com
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