Alfred R. Francis died at Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital on Aug. 26, 2016, from lymphoma. He was diagnosed with the disease 15 years ago, a result of exposure to Agent Orange during his service in the Vietnam War. Despite battling cancer for years, Al continued living as an active, caring, humorous, hard-working man who truly enjoyed life.
Al was born on Jan. 13, 1945 to Catherine and Richard Francis. He was raised alongside his sister, Ellen, in Glenwood Landing. Richard was an avid fisherman and Al developed a love of fishing early on. It was a hobby he would share with his children and carry with him for the rest of his life.
Al attended North Shore High School where he made many lifelong friendships. He met the love of his life, Catherine “Cathy” Naples, another North Shore High student, at her parent’s deli, Carl’s. Al served in Vietnam 1967-1968. After returning, he graduated from Nassau community college and in 1969 he and Cathy were married. The young couple moved to Syosset where they raised their three children, Suzanne, Nicole and David.
Al worked as a sales manager for Chrysler Jeep for many years, but his focus was always on his family. His love for his children was infinite. From dressing up as a clown at birthday parties and coaching teams to helping with homework and attending shows, there was nothing he wouldn’t do for them. Throughout his life, Al never wavered as a supportive, proud, fun father. He was thrilled to see each of his children marry: Suzanne to Wesley Hambright, Nicole to Joseph Segreti and David to Marianne Kissane. Al delighted in their successes, always celebrating with pride. A highlight of this year was seeing David accept the honor of detective from the NYPD.
Al joyfully stepped into a the role of “Pop Pop” with the birth of his grandchildren, Lily (7), Emilia (6), Jack (6) and Cecilia (4). He loved spending time with them and they adored him. He formed a special bond with each of them, cultivating special jokes, stories, songs, and catchphrases.
Al’s great kindness and love extended into his community as well. He worked as a volunteer for both Last Hope Animal Rescue and St. Christopher-Ottillie.
Al was a man who faced his illness head on, but continued to enjoy his life, spending time with the people he loved and pursuing his favorite activities: golf, fishing, traveling, and cooking. Al will be remembered for his joy of life, his sense of humor, his genuine, affable nature, and his sincere dedication to the friends and family he loved so dearly, all of who will sorely miss this wonderful man.