Francis, Thomas Lee

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Thomas Lee Francis: Beloved Husband, Brother, Brother-in-Law, and Uncle. Born to Ruth and Henry (Bear) Francis in 1944. Tom grew up strong and matured early in Ballard WV. Passed Away April 7th, 2022 in Charlottesville Virginia, at UVA medical center after a short illness at the age of 77.

As the only son he learned quick how to work hard and get it done right. His love for cars and racing developed early as anyone who lived in the 1960s and 1970s can attest to. It was the golden age of the muscle car, and the Pontiac GTO was Toms muscle of choice. Tom was a man of many interests. Yes, cars were a passion, however, he was an avid student of history. There are PHD Historians who would learn from Tom about the Civil War, and was second to none relic hunter.

As a young man, after graduating from Peterstown High School, he gained employment at Celanese where he met a man named Jack Tickle, who would become his father-in-Law. Patricia Ann Tickle became his wife in 1967, and the Love and passion they shared overcame and outlasted anything and everything in their lives. They shared 50+ years of marriage until her death in 2018. Anyone who knew them knew their love and compassion. In addition to this Tom was a founding and Life Member of the Giles Rescue Squad. He practiced his faith at Narrows First Baptist Church.

What is a Legacy? And what is Tom’s legacy? It is often hard to quantify someone’s life and value to those who knew them. Writing this I realize that much of what we call life is often forgotten quickly after death. Our job title, resume, education, or even your financial situation in the end does not matter. What does matter, what will be remembered, is the way in which you treat others, and Tom Francis never met a stranger. Tom and Patty helped raise so many children and cats it would be impossible to count. Despite not having children of their own, they gave all their love thus becoming parents to them all. You cannot tell Tom’s story without Patty, likewise for those of us they touched in their life, we cannot tell our story without them. Tom was always smiling even on his deathbed; God has never made a more positive person. He never missed an opportunity to help, and if you would listen, he would talk your ear clean off. Those of us who had the pleasure of knowing him, will miss him greatly. And in his own words, “I can’t wait to meet Patty at the gate,” after 4 years…now they are separated no more. God broke the mold with Thomas Lee Francis “Tom Cat”

Preceding Tom in death is his wife Patricia T Francis, parents Henry ‘Bear” and Ruth Francis Voreh, father and mother-in-law Jack and Blanche Tickle one brother-in-law Oliver Porterfield and great niece Jessica.

Left to treasure his memory is his brother in law Danny (Cathy) Tickle their children David (Jennifer) Taylor, Tori (Jon) Bowman, Amber Tickle, Daniel Tickle II, Sisters are Virginia (Jerry) Gerald Smith, and their children Mike (Sharon) Smith, Todd (Sherrie) Smith, Betty Porterfield, and children Buddy (Denise) Porterfield, Keith ( Betsy) Porterfield , Rhonda Colavecchio Sandy Keatley, and children Shannon Keatley, Chan (Kristen) and Derek (Amanda) and many cherished great nieces and nephews.

There will be a funeral service conducted in Tom’s honor on Friday, April 15, 2022 at 2:00 PM in the Narrows First Baptist Church. Funeral Services will conclude at Birchlawn Burial Park in Pearisburg, VA. Family will receive friends in the Narrows First Baptist Church on Thursday, April 14, 2022 from 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM.

A guestbook is available for sending condolences by visiting The staff of Kendall Funeral Home are honored to serve the Francis family.