Sunday, June 4, 2023
June 4, 2023

Robert John FRANCIS


Nov. 12, 1935 – June 04, 2016


Bob leaves his loving family –  wife Judi, daughter Abigail Fortune and husband Mark, son Andrew Francis and wife Michelle, and grandchildren Megan, William, Coen and Simon.

Born in Rochester, NY, Bob moved with his family several times before finishing Grade 12 in the small town of Honeoye Falls. After attending Rochester University he did his Master’s Degree at UBC and his PhD at the University of Minnesota.

Bob met his wife Judi while studying at UBC and they moved on to teach in Alberta.  Bob taught Geography/Geology at the University of Alberta and began to collect rocks.  Then after a short time living in Prince George Bob was invited in 1965 to be part of the first set of instructors at Simon Fraser University. One of his joys with his students was going up into the mountains around Lillooet where of course his rock collection multiplied.

Five years later Bob moved over to Langara where he taught until retirement.  During this time, he began his journey with the Terry Fox Run from 1981 until September 2015. Sailing and soccer with his children gave him a wonderful chance to be with them. Bob chaired the Board of the Burnaby Art Gallery and sang with the the United Church choir and Coquitlam Chorale.

On retirement Bob decided the next move was to Salt Spring where they would stay for two years.  However, being involved with the Terry Fox Run, sailing, singing in two choirs, living in three homes, taking roles as Park Commissioner, Trustee MBID, Community Ed Board, Salt Spring Emergency Program, Pod Leader and Library Assistant they stayed for the long haul and Bob loved every minute of it.

How to say “thank-you” to the many caregivers at Lady Minto Hospital, Greenwoods, and Dr. Kalf is difficult.  They all loved him and he responded in return, usually with a quiet, funny comment.  Bob passed away peacefully with family around him. He was our rock.

The “Celebration of Bob’s Life” will be on Monday, June 27, at the SSI United Church at 2:00.  In lieu of flowers etc, please consider donating to the Terry Fox Foundation, (at or wait for the Run until next September. 

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