Gerald A. Francis, age 84, born 1/23/1936 in Chicago, IL at rest on Tuesday, April 14, 2020, a 26 year resident of the Joliet Area, previous 30 year resident of Burbank, Illinois. He spent a large part of his childhood in Kingston, Jamaica with his mom and sister.
Gerald is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Mary Ann Francis; sister, Gail Smith; daughters, Denise Ann Murphy, Sharon Ann (Randall) Remblake; grandchildren, Heather Ann (Patrick) Rutherford, Brian (Mary) Murphy, Randall (Corryna) Remblake, Jr., Kyle Murphy who has endured an ongoing battle with muscular dystrophy, which was of great concern to his grandpa, Patricia Ann Remblake; and great-granddaughter, Sophie Ann Murphy.
Preceded in death by his son, Gerald Robert Francis; parents, Henry Francis and Casmira Kolin; step-father, Chester Kolin; brother, Robert Francis; granddaughter, Melissa Emily; nephew, Roy; and his niece, Kathy.
Gerald was a United States Army Veteran. During his service, Gerald was stationed in Germany and was a tank operator. He was a proud member of the Chicago Truck Driver’s Association and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local #743 as a truck driver for over 30 years.
Gerald was a social and creative man who enjoyed deep sea fishing in the Chesapeake Bay with his brother, Bob and step father, Ches and has been more recently involved in the Joliet YMCA where he played cards, went for a swim, and spent time with his wife and friends. He also liked playing Pinochle at the Senior Center and painting. As his son-in-law said, he is a regular “Picasio.”
Gerald enjoyed reminiscing old stories from his life adventures and loved learning and reading about history, especially the Civil War.
Jerry’s last words to his wife were “I’ll die here all alone and no one will know” but he was wrong. The strong desire and intentions of being there, by his bedside, were halted by the mandatory lockdown put into place. Resulting in deep sadness of not being able to surround him with the love that he most certainly deserved.
His family and friends will always remember him as a kind and giving person who as Matt and many others would say “Jerry will give you the shirt off his back.”
Due to the current historical circumstances, the immediate family will attend a short viewing to pay final respects followed by cremation. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Galowich Family YMCA, 749 Houbolt Road, Joliet IL 60431 on his behalf. Interment will be held at Holy Sepulcher Catholic Cemetery in Alsip, Illinois at a later date.