On Thursday, January 19, 2023, William Arthur Francis passed away at his Las Vegas, Nevada home at the age of 88, with his loving wife Linda at his side.
Bill, as most knew him, was born on June 30, 1934 in Salt Lake City, Utah, to William Alonzo and Clara (Harwood) Francis, and he had three children -- Susan, W. John, and James. Bill married the love his life, Linda Hardin Francis, on August 19, 1989. They spent their years together traveling the world, working side-by-side in their business, and experiencing life to the fullest.
He received a B.S. degree from the University of Utah in 1959 and was drafted to the United States Army and stationed at Fort Ord prior to joining the Army National Guard of Utah. Bill began his career in the advertising industry and quickly moved into construction where he gained experience with a few companies prior to owning and operating W.A. Francis Construction for more than 45 years. He had a great vision and passion for architectural design and was known amongst his colleagues for his precision as an estimator. Later in his career, he specialized in U.S. Department of the Interior buildings, and his construction projects spanned across Utah, Wyoming, Nevada, and California.
Bill -- or Wild Bill -- enjoyed living life to the fullest and was not one to miss out on a good time. Bill had a laugh that was larger than life. Traveling the world with his wife was amongst his favorite things to do, having visited 45 countries across five continents, along with 44 states. Additionally, he had a passion for boating and spent many years enjoying Lake Powell, including celebrating his 80th birthday there with family.
He was known for his quick wit, adventurous spirit, and insatiable quest for knowledge. Many thought of him as a walking encyclopedia. Always impeccably dressed, Bill was a good man with a tender heart -- well-respected by others. He enjoyed spending his time with his wife, children and grandchildren. For his 85th birthday, he chose to celebrate with them at Lagoon Amusement Park and even proudly rode the Cannibal roller coaster. He took great pride in his yards and homes and enjoyed spending time in his beautiful outdoor spaces with a martini in hand and beloved schnauzers at his side. Bill also loved to cook and host family and friends. He was truly happy in the kitchen and shared his love through his gourmet dishes.
Bill is preceded in death by his father, William Alonzo; his mother, Clara; brothers, William and Ron; sister Shirley Francis; and the mother of his children, Shirley Francis Nelson. He is survived by his wife, Linda; his three children, Susan (Rex) Smith, W. John, and James (Amy); sister, Bonnie Rogan; eight grandchildren, Cody (Sheena) Smith, Alisha (Andy) Kurtz, Adriane Smith, Christian Francis, Alexander Francis, Zachary Francis, Aubriel Francis, and Cameron Francis; four great-grandchildren, Taylor and Kingston Smith and Collins and Hazel Kurtz; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Services will be held on February 4, viewing 9:30-10:45am and funeral service 11:00am, at Larkin Mortuary, 260 E. South Temple, Salt Lake City, UT. Burial at the Salt Lake City Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Moran Eye Institute at https://ugive.app.utah.edu/designation/177. His family would like extend a special thank you to the Moran Eye Institute and Dr. Teske for their continued care over the years in his treatments of macular degeneration.