Robert was born in Massena on January 20, 1926, the son of Ira and Alice (McCarthy) Francis. He was married for 63 years to Eileen (Burnham) Francis. He served in the United States Navy upon graduation from high school. Robert graduated from Potsdam State with a master's degree in education and began his teaching career in Beaver Falls, N.Y. In 1958 he continued his teaching career at Salmon River Central School in Fort Covington and retired in 1981. After retirement, he and Eileen spent many winters at their Florida home that was often filled with visiting friends and family.
Robert leaves three sons and two daughters-in-law, Robert James and Carole (LeBlanc) Francis of Massena, Brian "John" Francis of Naples Fla., and Dean and Tammy (DeBaere) Francis of Fort Covington; and two daughters and two sons-in-law, Patricia and Mark Manchester of Fort Covington, and Michele and Craig Osterhout of Ontario, N.Y. Robert had a very special love for his twelve grandchildren, Michael Francis, Scott Robert, Stephanie Bobbie, Patrick Robert, Jennifer Louise, James Robert, Michael Shawn, Faith Elizabeth, Sara Emily, James Ryan, Mark Joseph, and Sarina along with eight great- grandchildren, Katelyn Mary, Cameron Patrick and Cartier Philip, Jayden Rayne, Danielle Marie, Samuel Robey, Jaxon Scott, and Emerson Francis. He is also survived by his beloved nephew, Donnie Francis and wife Jeri of North Lawrence; in-laws Basil and Joan Burnham, and Lucille Burnham of Massena; and many nieces and nephews.
Sports were a big part of his life. He was instrumental in the formation of North Franklin Sports, and the building of the first little league fields in Fort Covington. He played baseball and basketball for Potsdam State, and was a pitcher and played first base for the Fort Covington Travelers. He also coached and officiated youth sports.
Robert enjoyed dancing all of his life and was known for his high kick. Bob was a founding member of Camp Luck hunting club on Lake Ozonia where he was known as "The President."
Robert was Town Justice in Fort Covington for several terms and served as Town Supervisor in Bombay, N.Y.
Robert was predeceased by his wife, Eileen; mother and father Ira and Alice Francis; two brothers Kenneth and Donald Francis; and three sisters Veronica Brooks, Rita Lucas and Mary Alice Francis.