Mr. Chester Arthur Francis was born on April 22nd 1925 in McComas West Virginia. He was the son of the late Mr. Eli A. and Mrs. Lucinda Elizabeth Keeling Francis. Although Chester’s birthplace was McComas W.V., he and his 3 other siblings spent the majority of their childhood in Starkey of Roanoke County Virginia.
At the tender age of 18 on September 8th, 1943 Chester joined the Army. He served with the 663rd Quarter Master Trucking Company in the European Theater Operations. He was honorably discharge on December 7, 1945.
Chester extensively traveled the United States before getting married to Pearl Bluford on August 22, 1951 in Columbus, Ohio. Chester engaged in various occupations to provide for his wife and growing family. He was a chauffeur and an employee of Norfolk and Western United States Railroad Company. Chester’s most permanent place of employment was with Columbus Public Schools. He was head custodian at various elementary schools around the city for over 30 years. Chester even had the privilege of supervising a group of young men enrolled in a job corps program. He loved his job because it allowed him to engage positively with both staff and students.
Chester was introduced to Union Grove Baptist Church through his Aunt Fannie Waller who was a long-time member. He was a faithful and dedicated member who became an ordained deacon in 1967. Chester was also a trustee of Union Grove, teacher for Missionary Circle number 2 under the late Carrie Cooper and a very active member of the Eastern Union and Ohio Baptist State Laymen Auxiliary. In 2010 the church honored him with a “Father of the Year Award”.
Chester’s family was his “pride and joy”. He was a great husband, father, granddaddy, uncle, brother, brother-in-law, cousin and friend.
On July 31st, 2021 Chester Arthur Francis 96 years old, was called from earthly labor to heavenly reward. He is preceded in death by wife: Pearl Bluford Francis; Son: David E. Francis; Sisters: Kathleen Wright; Mattie E. Millsap; Brother: Peter Francis. He is survived by Sister-in-law; Mrs. Sally Francis, Sister and brother-in-law: Mrs. Virginia and Mr.Willie Blueford. Children: Chesteen Francis, Victoria (Roy) Woodson-Levey and Ricky (Vernita) Francis. Grandchildren: Shawntaj Francis, Karina (Rod) Smith, Senita Francis, Brittani Francis, Mischell and Naomi Woodson-Levey, Kristopher and Jamecia Little, and Michael Smith. Great Grandchildren: Angel, Kyla, Kammy, Kelis and Kamari; many nieces, nephews, other relatives, friends and longtime close family friend Mrs. Nancy Kelley.
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