Thomas A. Francis UTICA, NY — On February 24, 2019, Rutland native Tom Francis passed away at his home in Utica, NY with his wife, Laurie, by his side. His passing was the result of a valiant 10 year battle with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. Tom was born on February 3, 1947 in Rutland, Vermont to the late Harold (Mike) Francis and Beulah (Bee) Walker Francis. Tom attended K-8th grade at Immaculate Heart of Mary and graduated from Mount St. Joseph Academy in 1965. While at Mount St. Joseph, Tom enjoyed being a member of the band and the ski team. He especially enjoyed ski jumping and tolerated cross country skiing in order to jump. In 1968, while attending Utica College of Syracuse University, Tom met his future wife, Lorelei (Laurie) Francis whom he married on October 31, 1969 at her family’s home in Utica. He graduated from Utica College with a degree in contracting and construction in 1970. Tom’s entire career was focused on housing and community development. In 1969, he was hired as the Zoning Administrator/Chief Inspector for the City of Utica, Department of Codes Enforcement. In 1974, he moved on to the City of Syracuse, first as a Senior Program Planner, Department of Community Development and then, in 1978, as Assistant Director, Syracuse Division of Buildings and Property Rehabilitation. In 1981, Tom was named Executive Director of Syracuse Neighborhood Housing Services (SNHS). Six years later, he became the Executive Director of Syracuse Model Neighborhood Corporation (SMNC) where he remained until his retirement in June 2015. When not working, Tom loved to travel, especially to New Orleans or boating with his wife and friends in the Finger Lakes, Lake Champlain and in Canada with Old Montreal being his favorite boating destination. He was always happy, interested in others, and a friend to all. In recent years, Tom and Laurie added RVing to their activities with summers in Orwell, Vermont and fall trips to Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Florida and the eastern coastline. When asked what his best accomplishment was and what made him happiest, Tom always said being the parent of two successful and happy children, his daughter, Stephanie, of New York and his son, Jeremy of Vermont. If that wasn’t enough, eight years ago Tom became “Tommy” to his two beautiful grandchildren, Isla Susan Francis and Kian Adams Francis. His family made him the happiest man in the world. In addition to his immediate family, Tom is also survived by two sisters, Martha Clifford and her husband, Jack of Vermont; and Virginia Jackson of Texas; two brothers, Rick Francis and his wife, Janis of Indiana; and Michael Francis and his wife, Marianne of Vermont as well as 10 nieces and nephews and their offspring. A celebration of Tom’s life is planned for Thursday, March 21 with visitation from 2 – 4 p.m., immediately followed by a Celebration of Life at the Burns-Garfield Funeral Home at 3175 E. Genesee Street Syracuse, NY. If you would like to make a contribution in Tom’s memory, please consider the Pulmonary Fibrosis Fund at the HealthWell Foundation. When sending your gift, please include the name of the fund (Pulmonary Fibrosis Fund) as well as Tom’s name. Checks may be made out and mailed to: HealthWell Foundation Headquarters 20440 Century Blvd., Suite 250 Germantown, MD 20874 If you would prefer to make your gift electronically, please go to support@HealthWellFoundation.org Your gift to the HealthWell Foundation Pulmonary Fibrosis Fund will fill a critical need. Four out of 10 Americans with health insurance coverage cannot afford their copays, premiums and deductibles. Your donation helps the Foundation fulfill its mission — to reduce financial barriers to care for underinsured patients with chronic or life-altering diseases.