Joe Francis

Jan 24, 2013

A Gentleman and A Gentle Man

WAYNESVILLE — Josiah Wilson “Joe” Francis, 88, passed away Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, at his residence.

A native of Haywood County, he was the son of the late Robert Cleveland “Bob” and Inez Ratcliffe  Francis.  In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by a sister, Dorothy Francis, a brother, Edward Eugene “Gene” Francis and a nephew, Richard Francis.  He was a U.S. World War II Navy veteran, having served on the USS Flagship.  Joe was a 1942 graduate of Waynesville Township High School, and attended Mars Hill and North Carolina State University.  He made his career teaching Vocational Agriculture at West Henderson High school in Henderson County. Joe was an active and dedicated member of Calvary Road Baptist Church.

He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Mary Evelyn Plemmons Francis; a nephew, Dr. Gary Francis, and his wife, Barbara, of Richmond, Virginia; and several great-nieces.

Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26,  at Calvary Road Baptist Church with the Rev. John Swanger III,  J.D. Grant and Wayne Willett officiating. Burial will follow at Ratcliffe Cove Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 1 to 2:45 p.m. prior to the service at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Calvary Road Baptist Church Building Fund, 77 Sutton Loop, Waynesville, NC 28786 or Gideon International, P.O. Box 634, Waynesville,NC 28786.

An online memorial register is available at