Kenneth James Francis Jr. died in Fredericksburg, Va., on Tuesday, July 30, 2019. He was 54.
Kenneth was born in Oak Bluffs on May 8, 1965. In his years at the West Tisbury School, he excelled as a champion long jumper and a very fast runner, as well as a pretty good student.
He looked forward every year to the Agricultural Fair, and as a young kid he was allowed to be involved in organizing the parking for so many cars. He loved the authority.
Another early job was as a Lambert’s Cove Beach attendant. Kenny monitored the foot traffic at the entrance from a beach chair, giving permission only to legitimate passholders. He took his position very seriously.
He got to study and work in auto mechanics at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School with Bruce Turgeon. Kenny was a fine mechanic. He loved fixing motors, trying to make them work the first time because he didn’t want them returned because he didn’t do it right; it was a work ethic he maintained until addiction took everything.
At an early age he became fascinated by computers, and could do just about anything with them; building and repairing. He was good. He had a good mind.
Upon graduation, he was employed at Midland Garage by Kenny Belain. Janet and Kenny Belain became godparents to his daughter, Siobhan Francis.
Later he operated an auto repair and small engine repair at his home in West Tisbury, and at the end of his life, at his home in Fredericksburg, where he raised his son, Kenneth James Francis III, as a single parent.
Kenny was proud to be a father to his two children, and was proud of them. His neighbors down in Virginia praised his helpfulness to them, and wrote tributes of the same. Kenny had a strong relationship with Father Wooten, who visited him providing spiritual counsel while enjoying his sense of humor and sharing stories of the many books he liked to read, mostly true crime stories.
Kenny will always sorely be missed by all who knew him, and grieved for the loss of capacity and promise brought on by addiction. May he simply rest in peace: Go rest high on that mountain.
He is survived by his children, Siobhan Elizabeth Francis of West Wareham, and Kenneth James Francis III of Hull; his parents, Kenneth Sr. and Jean Hagerty Francis of Fredericksburg, Va.; his siblings Karin Francis Cassidy (Sean) of Fredericksburg and William Francis of Rehoboth; his uncle, Robert Hagerty (Grace) of Oak Bluffs; his aunts, Joan Hagerty Duggan (William) of Pomfret Center, Conn., Charlene Alley, Norma Marathas, and Susan Fauteaux of Oak Bluffs; his nephews, William and Anthony Duggan, James Hagerty, and Daniel Hagerty and Kenneth Bettencourt; his nieces, Dena Marathas, Channing Hagerty, Elizabeth and Jennifer Hagerty, Felicia Francis, and Jennifer and Melissa Francis; and his cousins and his beloved dog Fido. Kenny was predeceased by his grandparents, Anna and William Hagerty, and Elsie Sennett and Manuel Francis; uncles William T. Hagerty, Robert Francis, and Jeffrey Alley; aunts Janet Hagerty and Linda Francis; and cousin Scott Francis.
A memorial Mass will be held at Our Lady Star of the Sea Church in Oak Bluffs on Thursday, August 15, at 11 am, followed by burial at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Oak Bluffs. We invite all to come to the Portuguese-American club for a reception.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be given to the Vineyard House, P.O. Box 4599, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568.
Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home, Edgartown Road, Oak Bluffs. Visit ccgfuneralhome.com for online guestbook and information.