Francis, Jesse E., age 89, of Knoxville, passed away Thursday, October 6, 2016 at the Johnson City Medical Center Hospital. He was the son of the late Charles Ernest and Fannie Elizabeth Tassey Francis.
Jesse was born in Readyville, TN, graduated from Cannon County High School in the spring of 1944, and with a $100.00 Sears Roebuck Scholarship in hand, he headed to the University of Tennessee and enrolled in the College of Agronomy. He finished three quarters of college before he decided to enlist in the Navy, to serve in World War ll. He returned to UT in January of 1947, graduated and accepted a job with the University of Tennessee Extension Service as an Assistant County Agent. It was there that he met a co-worker, who became his devoted wife of 50 years, Dorothy Garvey. They spent 11 wonderful years in Morristown and moved to Knoxville in 1963.
Jesse was the Ag Service Rural Defense Specialist for three years, and in 1966 became a Supervisor of the Agricultural Extension Service. He served the University of Tennessee with dedication for 43 years. He loved UT Football and Basketball, and was one of their most avid fans. He was a devoted Kiwanian for 65 years, and served as local president of the Knoxville Chapter. He also served as national president of Epsilon Sigma Phi. Jesse was a faithful member of Concord United Methodist Church since 1963. He served on multiple committees throughout the years, shared the job of Communion Steward with his wife Dorothy for 25 years, taught the Fellowship Sunday School Class for many years, and enjoyed being a member of the Primetimers group. Since moving to Johnson City in January of 2016, he attended Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church where he quickly became a part of their church family.
In addition to his parents, Jesse is preceded in death by his wife Dorothy Garvey Francis; two brothers: Donald Francis and Charles Francis; sister, Elizabeth Marshall, and grandson, Matthew Shrum. He is survived by two daughters: Ann Wolfe and husband Mark of Knoxville, TN, and Carol Shrum and husband Scott of Johnson City, TN; three grandsons: Andrew Wolfe of Dallas, TX, Mark Shrum, wife Amy, great-grandson Turner Scott Shrum of Covington, TN, and Joel Shrum of Nashville, TN; two nieces: Beth Isabel and husband Scott of Riverview, FL, and Mary Brabson and husband Ron of Knoxville, TN; two nephews: John David Francis of Fort Myers, FL, and Donnie Francis and wife Erika of Orlando, FL; two sisters-in-law: Charlene Francis and Starke, FL, and Jean Garvey of Rutledge, TN. Jesse's family would like to say a special thank you to the staff at Dominion Senior Living, Johnson City, for the loving care and friendship they provided during his stay there.
A Memorial service will be held 3:00 p.m., Sunday, October 23, 2016, Concord United Methodist Church with the Rev. Larry Trotter officiating. The family will receive friends following the service. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to either Concord United Methodist Church, 11020 Roane Dr., Knoxville, TN 37934, or to Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church, 225 Princeton Rd., Johnson City, TN 37601. On-line condolences may be extended atwww.rosemortuary.com Arrangements by Rose Mortuary Mann Heritage Chapel.