James Noel Francis died the early morning of Sept. 26, 2012, at his home on Highway 20 about 8 miles North of Newport, Pend Oreille County, Wash.
Cause of death was lung cancer.
James was born April 29, 1937, at Whitehall, to Donald and Clara (Sausman) Francis.
From age 5 he spent his summers on the horse ranch owned by his Uncle Fred Shoemaker in the Larb Hills of the Missouri River Breaks, south of Malta. He learned to train and care for horses at an early age. He joined the Navy at the age of 15, often serving on submarines, and was discharged in 1955. As a young man he rode bareback and clowned in rodeos all over Montana and in Canada winning several awards.
He retired from ironwork that included work on the Alaska Pipeline. After retirement, he spent his summers in Newport, Wash., and his winters in Arizona competing in calf-roping.
James was survived by two sons, Donald Jerome Francis and Terrence James Francis; one sister, Ruby Alice Hornbeck; and one brother, Michael Joseph Francis. He has three grandchildren; and one great-grandson.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Barbara (Johnson) Francis in 1983; one daughter, Tammy Jo Francis; and one son, Jesse Allen Francis.
A memorial service will be held at the Sherman-Knapp Funeral Home, 423 W. 2nd St., Newport, Wash., on Friday, Oct. 5, at 2 p. m. Jim's body will be cremated and his ashes scattered in the Larb Hills of Phillips County, Montana, at his request.