OBITUARY

Francis J. McEldowney

February 8, 1930January 2, 2019
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Francis J. McEldowney age 88, of Versailles passed away on Wednesday, January 2, 2019, at State of the Heart Hospice Care Center in Greenville. ` Francis was born February 8, 1930, in Darke County to the late Franklin P. & Mary Jane (Marchal) McEldowney. In addition to his parents, Francis was also preceded in death by his wife, Helen A. (Voisard) McEldowney on May 27, 2015, whom he married November 23, 1950; sisters, Agnes McEldowney and Mary Gerling; and brothers, Leroy, Arthur and Wilford McEldowney. Francis is survived by his children, Mike & Judy McEldowney of Tipp City, Phil & Susan McEldowney of Versailles, Diane & John Swallow of Greenville, Doug & Kelly McEldowney of Medina and Deb & Rich Baker of Troy; grandchildren, Betsy & Josh Kraft, Mykal & Angie McEldowney, John McEldowney, Jennifer & Adam Didier, Craig & Nicole Swallow, Jill Swallow, Krista & Matt Folkerth, Tricia McEldowney, Joey & Katie McEldowney, Michelle & Craig Muhlenkamp and Alex Baker & fiancée, Alaina Smith; 11 great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law, Rose Henry and Jenny Voisard; brother-in-law, Royce Smith; and numerous nieces and nephews. Francis retired in 1992 from BF Goodrich in Troy where he was a toolmaker for 32 years. He was a member of St. Denis Catholic Church in Versailles. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 AM on Monday, January 7, 2019, at St. Denis Catholic Church in Versailles with Rev. Fr. Jim Simons celebrant. Burial will follow in St. Valbert Cemetery in Versailles. The family will receive friends on Sunday from 2:00 to 6:00 PM and Monday morning from 9:00 to 10:00 AM at Bailey Zechar Funeral Home in Versailles. Memorial contributions may be made to State of the Heart Care or the Versailles Area Museum.

Services

  • Visitation Sunday, January 6, 2019
  • Visitation Monday, January 7, 2019
  • Mass of Christian Burial Monday, January 7, 2019
REMEMBERING

Francis J. McEldowney

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Brad Mercer

January 3, 2019

Michael, words cannot express my sorrow for the loss of your father. I am thinking about you and your family and wish you peace and comfort during this difficult time. What is surely a huge loss for you is a big gain for God. Your father will stay alive in your heart forever.

Carolyn Gerling/Toman

January 3, 2019

I have many wonderful memories of Uncle Francis but the first memory I thought of is how he would play his guitar and sing to me when I stayed at grandma's farm as a very little girl. I didn't realize this until now, but I have had a love for guitar music throughout my life and I'm sure that love came from his playing and singing to me way back then.

I am so happy that he came to our family reunion the past two summers and that we had a chance to play "Sheep Buck" with him again. Oh the great memories of him and his brothers playing this game in the kitchen on grandma's farm!!

I am heart broken to lose this man from my life but will always cherish the many memories of him.

My sincere condolences to his children and grand children and family. We will all miss him.
Carolyn Gerling-Toman

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Handing down his musical talent.

FROM THE FAMILY

Good Ole Mountain Dew

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
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FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Handing down his musical talent.

FROM THE FAMILY

Good Ole Mountain Dew

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

“Give me a problem and I’ll hand you a solution.” Those who knew Francis would agree this motto accurately described him. He was a man of great drive and was a very original, independent thinker. For Francis, no challenge was impossible, and just about any desired result was within his grasp. Francis placed great trust in his intuition, since that intuition generally led him in the right direction.

Francis was born on February 8, 1930 at home on the family farm just north of Versailles, Ohio. He was the son of Frank and Jennie (Mary Jane) McEldowney. He remained in Versailles throughout his childhood where he matured into the independent person he eventually became.

Francis grew up with five siblings; Leroy, Agnes, Art, Bill and Mary. He was the baby of the family. Francis could be seen as being stubborn by his siblings. It was important to him that he was perceived as “right” when it came to his part in those typical family spats. However, this quality did not over power his caring for his family. This ability to balance his family, with his need to be seen as right, helped him to develop into a young adult while enjoying many good times with his family.

During his grade school years, Francis was a very focused and serious student who actually enjoyed the challenge of many classroom problems. He was determined to succeed, and he drew upon his gifts of trust and perseverance to provide him with a competitive edge. While his first love might have been academics, Francis enjoyed playing pick-up basketball in an old dirt floor barn with childhood friends. He delighted in projects that required planning, critical thinking and resolution. During high school, Francis was relentless in his pursuit of learning, especially in those subject areas that really grabbed hold of his interests. It wasn't that he didn't put forth his best efforts in all classes, but if a subject really interested him, he would eagerly put forth extra effort to learn all he could. He was a member of the Student Senate and also played tuba in the high school marching band. Francis graduated from Versailles High School on Tuesday, May 18, 1948.

On November 23, 1950, Francis exchanged wedding vows with Helen Ann Voisard, daughter of Michael and Agnes Voisard, at Holy Family Catholic Church of Frenchtown, Ohio. Helen's attentiveness to Francis's needs proved to be a wonderful influence on this man, who preferred to live a simple life. Helen's influence brought Francis to a new emotional level, one that eventually enhanced all of his other gifts and abilities. Together they had a great appreciation for life. Valentine's Day was always special to them since he popped that special question and she said yes!

Francis often neglected his own feelings in order to give to others. This was very true when it came to how he dealt with his children. He was able to hand on to each child a number of strong values. He taught them to appreciate their abilities, gave them a desire to persevere despite obstacles and set within them a drive to succeed. He had five children, Mike, Phil, Diane, Doug and Deb. He also had eleven grandchildren, Betsy, Mykal, John, Jennifer, Craig, Jill, Krista, Tricia, Joey, Michelle and Alex and many great grandchildren. They were always aware of how much he loved them.

During Francis's professional working years, he was at his best when working independently. It became the hallmark of his performance. Francis was generally able to refocus his drive and determination and readily work toward finding a way to get things done that was beneficial to himself and his co-workers. Once he was firmly behind a common goal, Francis's skills became an integral part of the success of any project. He was employed for many years at BF Goodrich in Troy, Ohio as a toolmaker and model maker.

For Francis, his outside interests and hobbies became another exercise in learning and mastering areas that interested him. He greatly enjoyed unraveling the "hows" and "whys" that lay behind his hobbies. He was always pushing himself to learn more and to stretch his knowledge base even further. He firmly believed the more things that he knew, the more he could share his knowledge with the people in his life. His favorite hobbies were gardening, woodworking, fishing and taking Helen to her favorite casino.

Watching his favorite sporting events by himself was never a problem for Francis. It allowed him to indulge in his own individual interpretation of the event. It was not uncommon for Francis to know what the right play or move “should have been,” and he would vocally address these feelings even if there was no one around to hear them. And if there were others around, he would still state his feelings and gladly debate anyone on their opposing views. He loved to attend any sporting event that his grandkids or great-grandkids participated in and truly loved to watch his beloved Ohio State Buckeyes’ football team!

Francis and Helen's faith was an integral part of their daily life. They instilled this faith in their children through example. He was a member St. Denis Catholic Church his entire life. During that time, he was a member of the choir and also served on the cemetery board.

For Francis, the actual process of relaxing was somewhat difficult because he always wanted to be busy. This was never clearer than when it was time for him to schedule a vacation or period of time away from his regular schedule. Still, he did manage to enjoy some time away. Some favorite vacations included our family trip to Florida in 1969, many trips to Grant and Tycoon Lakes to fish, multiple trips to Vegas with Helen and most recently to South Carolina to visit family.

When Francis's retirement finally came in 1992, he was ready. He worked out many of the details in advance so that he could enjoy the time and not have to worry. In retirement, his new life involved spending more time with family, doing the hobbies he so enjoyed and always being available to help others when needed. In the spring of 2018, Francis attended the Versailles Senior Citizen Prom and was crowned the King. He never liked to be in the spotlight, but he reluctantly accepted this award!

Francis J. McEldowney passed away on January 2, 2019 at State of the Heart Hospice in Greenville, Ohio. He bravely and courageously battled cancer with a content heart. He is survived by his five children, eleven grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren. Services were held at St. Denis Catholic Church and Bailey-Zechar Funeral Home in Versailles, Ohio. Francis was laid to rest next to his beloved wife Helen in St. Valbert Cemetery in Versailles, Ohio.

Francis was always drawn to what was measurable, practical and factual. He was a very competent person who expected competence from others. He could be headstrong and certain about the way things were supposed to be. He was determined in every aspect of his life and certain that he was usually right about things. He trusted his intuition over all else, even if it opposed the popular belief, and he had faith in his inner vision and speculations. He wanted to be acknowledged by others as having made a contribution to whatever he was working on. His family and friends will miss his fierce determination, relentless innovations and analytic mind. He leaves with all those who knew him many wonderful memories.