Reid A. Francis, of Cassopolis

Dec. 17, 1962 — April 11, 2020

Reid Arthur Francis, 57, of Cassopolis, was called home peacefully Saturday, April 11, 2020, in the comfort of his family’s presence.

He was born Dec. 17, 1962, in Naperville, Illinois, the younger of two children of Ronald and Marsha Francis. He married Janet Lee Mesko May 9, 1987, in Niles.

Reid grew up on Diamond Lake and at the Diamond Lake Yacht Club, where he met many of his life-long friends and also gained an affinity for the water.

One of Reid’s greatest talents was sailing and sailboat racing. This was a skill passed down from his father and grandfather. Reid embraced it with a passion. He was known for being able to make boats go fast and competed in many Regattas near and far. It did not matter what kind of boat or its age, Reid became a part of it and could figure out its idiosyncrasies to make it work at its best.

Reid was a graduate of Cassopolis Ross Beatty Jr./Sr. High School, Michigan State University and Davenport University. After living away from Cassopolis for more than 10 years, he and Janet moved back to the area and once again became passionate Rangers. They were involved in all their children’s sports, groups and activities. He was lovingly known by children and many others as the Ranger Taxi Dad.

He tried out a variety of careers but ultimately found that self-employment gave him the flexibility to fulfill his most treasured roles as adoring husband and all-involved father. He encouraged and maintained their Mary Kay business from the office. He managed his own rental properties, along with many others and was a jack-of-all-trades handyman to the community and beyond.

His relationship with Jesus Christ and living out truth was very important to him and he was grateful for his church family at Dailey Church.

Reid was Mr. All Around and will be most remembered for his ability to make you feel like you belonged. He was constantly helping people in need and taking care of others. He was the father and uncle almost always found entertaining all the kids at events or playing some sport or activity with them.

Reid will be greatly missed by family and friends.

He is survived by his wife of almost 33 years, Janet Francis, of Cassopolis; one daughter, Brittany Francis, of Colorado Springs; three sons, Austin Francis, of Kalamazoo, Gavin (Paige) Francis, of Cassopolis and Lane Francis, of Cassopolis; three bonus international children, Petra (Bernhard) Stegner, of Austria, Takuma Hamano, of Japan, Bach Gao Tianyu, of China; and one bonus international granddaughter, Malena Stegner; his parents, Ronald and Marsha Francis, of Cassopolis; and one sister, Shari Soncrant, of Columbus, Indiana; his in-laws, Robert and Helen Mesko, of Niles; a host of nieces and nephews for whom uncle Reid was a big deal; and many more kids who called Reid and Janet “dad” and “mom.”

His family will lay him to rest in a private ceremony in Prospect Hill Cemetery in Cassopolis.

Family and friends will gather on a date and at a time to be announced.

The family prefers contributions in memory of Reid be made to either, Dailey Church, 27046 Dunning Street, Cassopolis, MI 49031 to support a mission trip through Back2Back Ministries, an orphan ministry organization that Reid had planned to participate with or Diamond Lake Yacht Club Sailors Memorial Fund, Post Office Box 363, Cassopolis, Michigan 49031.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Connelly Chapel Wagner Family Funerals, Cassopolis. Please share a memory or a message online: wagnercares.com.

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