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Donna H. Francis

September 12, 1925 – February 21, 2024

Donna Hoover Greenman Francis died on February 21, 2024 in Traverse City, Michigan at the age of 98.  She was born at home on September 12, 1925 in Lansing, Michigan. Following her graduation from high school, she worked as a secretary for the State of Michigan in Lansing and later attended the Chicago Evangelistic Institute where she met Rev. Dr. John L. Francis.  They were married in 1948.  Donna was an active member of the United Methodist congregations that her husband served in West Michigan.

Donna was a beloved homemaker, wife, mother, grandmother, and aunt.  She was an artisanal baker before it was in vogue, baking bread every week for her family. Donna managed the family’s limited resources with the skill of a professional bookkeeper. She was a creative person who loved working with her hands – painting china and sewing many of her own clothes, doing quilting projects with her sister, Janice, and gardening. She was a member of the Central United Methodist Church, Traverse City. She lived her faith in quiet service to others. She had a ready smile and a twinkling sense of humor. Her legacy of love, creativity, nurturing, and service will continue to live on in the hearts of all who knew her. She will be deeply missed and forever remembered.

She is preceded in death by her husband John L. Francis, her brothers Asa Bruce and David Greenman, and her sister, Janice Van Valin.  She is survived by her two sons, Paul (Jennifer Johnson) Francis and Dean (Nora Gaberdiel) Francis, two grandsons, two great-grandchildren, and six nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at Central United Methodist Church, 222 Cass Street, Traverse City, Michigan 49684 on Wednesday April 3, 2024 at 1 p.m.

Memorial donations may be made to the Clark Foundation, Benevolent Care Fund, 1551 Martin Luther King, Jr St. SE Grand Rapids, Michigan 49506.

Last Updated on February 27, 2024

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The Michigan Conference