A. Warren Francis
October 1, 1922 – December 17, 2018
A. Warren Francis, 96, of Kansas City, Missouri passed away on December 17, 2018.
Warren was born in Kansas City, Missouri on October 1, 1922 to Monte Warren and Allen T. Francis. He lived in Kansas City all of his life. He graduated from the University of Missouri – Columbia with a BS in Business Administration and a Bachelors of Law in 1948. He practiced civil litigation and was the attorney for Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, District of Missouri from which he retired in 1992.
Warren married Mary E. Holtschneider in 1948 and has two daughters, Patricia M. Campbell and Julie A. Francis. He has two grandchildren, Warren Reed Campbell and Kelly Anne Campbell, two great-granddaughters Liliana Campbell and Cora Fritz. After his first wife passed in 1993, Warren remarried Mary C. Stoll on May 3, 1997. He has three step-children from that marriage, Nancy Berry, Robert Stoll and David Stoll. There are five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Warren served in WWII from 1942 to 1945. He was a First Lieutenant and navigator on a B-17 and flew 31 missions over Europe including Omaha Beach and Normandy Beach on D-Day. He was a recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Warren was a member of the Missouri Bar Association, Kappa Alpha Fraternity and DeMolay.
There will be a Funeral Mass held at 10:00am on Friday, December 21 at Visitation Catholic Church, 5141 Main Street, Kansas City, Missouri. Burial will follow in Mount Moriah Cemetery, 10507 Holmes Road, Kansas City, Missouri.
- Allen T. Francis (deceased), Father
- Monte (Warren) Francis (deceased), Mother
- Mary E. (Holtschneider) Francis (deceased), First Wife
- Patricia M. Campbell, Daughter
- Julie A. Francis, Daughter
- Warren Reed Campbell, Grandson
- Kelly Anne Campbell, Granddaughter
- Lillana Campbell, Great-granddaughter
- Cora Fritz, Great-granddaughter
- Mary C. (Stoll) Francis, Wife
- Nancy Berry, Step-daughter
- Robert Stoll, Step-son
- David Stoll, Step-son
- Reed Campbell, Pallbearer
- Tom Campbell, Pallbearer
- David Stoll, Pallbearer
- Robert Stoll, Pallbearer
- Mitch Titus, Pallbearer
- Tim Stoll, Pallbearer
Friday, December 21, 2018
Friday, December 21, 2018
A. Warren Francis
May 28, 2019
I just yesterday found out you went home to Jesus. I loved Warren. He was such a gentleman. I knew Warren my entire life. He helped my mom and Dad with paperwork helping them get me adopted!! What a gift! Thank you Warren. I remember all of the days at the lake place on the fourth of July. I loved to hang out with Julie. I always seemed to run into Warren and Julie at our local McDonalds. We all loved Julie so much and the way Warren tended to her was like no other I have ever seen. I was just getting ready to call for your anniversary. I was tardy because of vacation. I never failed to send Warren and both Mary's anniversary cards. You will be so missed. I wish I would have had a chance to visit before the news. Warren was part of our family for almost 60 years. Warren was the nicest gentleman I have ever met, so humble. I will miss you Warren but you are home now and my parents were probably there to great you. What a wonderful man and man of God. Thank you Warren for being in our lives.
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
I wrote this letter for my grandfather on his last day and my mother was able to read it to him hours before he passed away. Thank you for sharing it
December 17, 2018
You are truly a remarkable man. And the remarkable thing about being remarkable is that your spirit will live on forever. It lives on through the remarkable things you have done, the remarkable stories your children will share, and the way you touched people’s lives through your remarkable courage and kindness.
It is an honor to be your granddaughter. Your presence has shaped me in ways that are so integral to the person I have become that it is hard to describe it in words… but I will do my best. And in fact, that is a great place to start.
Lessons from A.W. Francis on How to Do Life:
• Do your Best: Grandpa you have taught me to always do my best, in school, in my career, in my relationships. You always show up authentically, you are present, and you put your best foot forward.
• Do it with Kindness: You are always kind. You share your smile and your light. You are an excellent listener. You have taught me that it is more important to be kind than to be right. Perhaps that is why you let me beat you at Gin Rummy every once in a while.
• Do it with Gratitude: Accept life’s challenges and life’s gifts. I deeply admire the unconditional love and gratitude you show for both of your daughters. You always have a positive attitude, even when times get tough. If your friend steals your lady while you are at war, go get another one!
• Do it with a Sense of Humor: Find the humor even in life’s difficult situations. Strategically and artfully execute complex practical jokes on your very best friends. Make smile and laugh often.
• Be Indulgent: Life is short. Indulge in what you love. If you love cars, get yourself a really nice car and love it. If you love ice cream, eat it multiple times a day. If you love cookies, devote an entire drawer in your kitchen to cookies and after everyone has gone to bed, sneak down to have a few more!
• Be Smart: Be smart with your words, be smart with your actions, be smart with your money. Be smart with your garbage and keep it in the freezer so it doesn’t stink up the house.
Grandpa, these lessons will stay with me forever. Your remarkable spirit will live on in my heart, and the all the heart’s you have touched.
I love you.
Kelly Ann Campbell
My name is Warren Reed Campbell. I am the grandson of Allen Warren Francis. Warren was born on October 1, 1922, and died at the age of ninety-six (96), on December 17. We are here today to celebrate his life.
And what a life it was! Throughout his nine decades of life, Warren was many different things to different people.
To some, he was a life-saver. As a young man, he answered his country’s call in a time of war by joining the United States Air Force. He successfully completed 31 missions as a B-17 Flying Fortress navigator, all before the age of 22. B-17s were vital part of the Allied’s war strategy, and meant the difference between life and death. When Warren successfully hit his targets, hundreds of young men in the trenches would live to see another day. To his fellow soldiers, he was a life-saver.
To others, he was a hero. On one mission, his B-17 squadron found themselves in the middle of a bad Northern Atlantic Storm. Warren successfully navigated his crew threw that storm safely. Of the 3 B-17s that flew that night, his was the only one that landed safely. The two others were lost at sea. To his fellow crew members, Warren was a hero.
Warren was also a loving husband. After he returned from the war and finished law school, he married Mary Holtschneider. They enjoyed a 45 year marriage, and raised two children. They would spend their free time at a lake house, and travel to Phoenix to visit family and friends. Mary died after battling breast cancer for many years. Warren was by her side throughout her struggle. She was able to pass peacefully knowing that Warren was there for her, and would always be there for their children.
Warren was lucky enough to find love twice. And wise enough to find it with another women named “Mary.” Warren’s love for Mary was clear, as was her love for him. Throughout their 22 year marriage, they had the opportunity to travel to Europe, Italy, and multiple trips to Wisconsin and Arizona. They even visited the beaches of Normandy, a place Grandpa hadn’t been since D-Day.
Over the last few years, Mary cared for Warren, aided him through his routines, and helped him navigate the daily obstacles of life that had become more difficult. Because of you, Mary, Warren was able to stay where he was most comfortable- home. Thank you. Thank you for being such a wonderful wife, companion, and friend to my grandfather.
Warren was also a caring father. He had two children, my mother, Patty Campbell, and my aunt, Julie Francis,. As a special need child, Julie, required an enormous amount of attention and care. Grandpa’s love and patience for Julie never wavered. I happened to be in Kansas City three weeks ago, and witnessed this love first-hand. Julie came to the house for lunch. Grandpa put his own health struggles aside, and shared, laughed, and cared for Julie. Grandpa, you provided Julie a quality of life that she would have never enjoyed without you. Your sacrifice did not go unnoticed.
To my mother, Grandpa was her rock. They had an amazing relationship. If my mom was having a hard time, my grandfather provided her with perspective. He shared in her triumphs. Wept during her times of sorrow. He raised my mother to be strong and independent. And as old age slowly took his independence, as it will for all of us, my Mom was there for him. Mom, Grandpa was so lucky to have a daughter like you.
Having two biological children, however, was not enough for Warren. As a father, he had more wisdom to give. My paternal grandfather died at the age of 56. Over the last thirty-eight (38) years, Grandpa stepped in to serve as my dad’s father too. Grandpa’s presence over these years eased the pain and grief my dad experienced from losing his own father too soon.
When Mary and Warren married, Grandpa gladly embraced his role as a step-father, grandfather, and great-grandfather too. He loved his new extended family, and savored the laughs and good times he shared with all of you. I hope you regularly reminisce about “Grandpa” stories. I know I will for years to come.
Warren was a respected lawyer and mentor. He had a serious job, but never took himself too seriously. He practiced law here in Kansas City for over 40 years. He started his own law firm, built a successfully practice, and took the time to mentor younger lawyers. Those lawyers went on to have successful legal careers of their own, and passed on the wisdom and knowledge they received to others. The Kansas City legal profession is better for it.
Grandpa had a zest for life. He loved practical jokes. He had dessert after every meal. He would even have dessert after dessert. My grandfather, in his infinite wisdom, understood that it is always a good time for ice cream. A sage lesson everyone here would be wise to remember.
In my oldest memory of my grandfather, he was a horse whisper. Around the age 4, I would run to sit on his knee while he was reading the paper. He would bounce me up and down on his leg. To me, it was just like riding a horse. I remember the pure joy and excitement this game brought to me. Grandpa would tell me stories as we rode. Sometimes, the horse would suddenly go lame and grandpa would toss me off his knee to the floor. I’d pick myself up and scurry back for another ride.
In April, Grandpa and I spent the day at Loose Park with my wife, Amy, and my daughter, Lily. At a bench by the pond, Grandpa sat Lily on his lap. He saddled up the horse for one last ride. I looked over to see Lily, wide-eyed and smiling from ear to ear. I knew exactly how she felt.
What a good man. I believe the best thing to hope for when you’re eulogized, after all the words, recitations, and resumes are read, is for someone to say, “what a good man.” Grandpa, you were a good man. You will be missed.