Gary R. Francois PH.D 77 of Galesburg died at 11:35 p.m. Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at Heartland Health Care Center.
He was born May 18, 1937 in Centralia, Ill. the son of Ray C. and Bonadean (Steward) Francois. He married Lois A. Paustian on August 8, 1959 in Davenport, Iowa. She preceded him in death on March 5, 1975. He then married Martha M. Ehrenhart on June 7, 1975 in Galesburg.
He is survived by his wife, Martha; three sons, Mark Francois of Princeville, Ill., Scott (and Kimberly) Francois of Jacksonville, Fla., and Todd (and Cheryl) Francois of Salem, Ill.; three daughters, Miava (and Larry) Reem of Galesburg, Jena (and Lawrence) Sanchez of Pueblo, Colo., and Dana (and David) Scott of Ripon, Wis.; a son-in-law, Ron Boone of St. Augustine, Ill.; 16 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; two brothers, Larry (and Vicki) Francois of Palm Desert, Calif. and Tom (and Sharon) Francois of Mt. Vernon, Ill.; and a sister, Mary Ann Shufeldt of Columbia, Mo. In addition to his first wife, he was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers; and a daughter, Teri Boone.
Gary graduated with honors from Centralia High School in 1955. He went on to attend Washington University in St. Louis, where he earned his A.B. in Psychology in 1959 and his M.A. in 1960. He earned his Ph.D. in General Experimental Psychology from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth in 1963. It was during his time at Texas Christian University that he discovered his love of teaching while serving as a teaching fellow from 1960 to 1962 and instructor from 1962 to 1963. In 1963, Gary and his family moved to Galesburg, where he started as instructor in the Psychology Department at Knox College. He worked his way to Associate Professor then Professor before retiring September 1, 2002. In 1997, he was named the Szold Distinguished Service Professor of Psychology and transferred to Emeritus status on August 30, 2002. During his time at Knox, Gary was very active in his field with numerous publications and committees, as well as serving as Chairperson of the Department of Psychology, Assistant to the President, and Interim Vice President of Advancement.
Gary’s honors and awards included belonging to Psi Chi National Honor Society in Psychology and receiving the Faculty Citizenship Recognition at the American Association for Higher Education 1994 National Conference. He was a member of American Psychological Association, Midwestern Psychological Association, Southwestern Psychological Association, Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology, Sigma Xi, Council of Undergraduate Psychology Programs, and Council of Teachers of Undergraduate Psychology.
Gary was instrumental in establishing Carl Sandburg College, where he served on the Board of Trustees and their Foundation Board. He was very involved with his community. He was a Paul Harris Fellow of the Rotary Club, served on the OSF Foundation Board, and served on the Galesburg Civic Art Center Board. After retirement, he learned to fly and volunteered with the National Stearman Fly-In each year. He was a member of Soangetaha Country Club, where he enjoyed golfing.
Gary had a lifelong commitment to scouting. He was an Eagle Scout and member of the Order of the Arrow, serving as a leader as well as on the local and district councils for many years.
Cremation will be accorded. A celebration of life visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday, August 4, 2014 at Hinchliff-Pearson-West Galesburg Chapel. A memorial service will follow at 7 p.m. with Rev. Jim Ecklund officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Knox College Library. Online condolences may be made at www.h-p-w.com.