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William Francis

Dec. 4, 1936-March 8, 2012

William J. "Bill" Francis, 75, of Detroit Lakes, died Thursday, March 8, 2012 at Essentia Health-Oak Crossing in Detroit Lakes.

William J. Francis was born to William J. and Ester Francis on December 4, 1936 in Crookston, Minn. He grew up and attended school in Crookston, graduating from Crookston Central High School in 1954. He was confirmed at the Crookston United Methodist Church.

Bill served in the National Guard and also in the United States Army, serving in the 508th Airbourne Division. Following his discharge from the Army, he returned to Crookston, where he worked as a patrolman for the Crookston Police Department from 1958 to 1961. Bill then worked numerous sales jobs before starting a 40-year sales career with Cutler-Magner and later LaFarge Cement Company.

On Sept. 18, 1980 Bill was united in marriage to Grace Haugen. Over the years they lived in Grand Forks, N.D., Eau Claire, Wis., and Detroit Lakes. Bill and Grace enjoyed traveling in their retirement, spending several winters in Arizona. They also liked spending time at their lake home near Walker, Minn.

Surviving Bill are his wife Grace; one daughter, Kim (Curt) Knutson of Fisher, Minn.; four stepsons, Jerry Haugen of Hillsboro, N.D., Larry Haugen of McIntosh, Minn., Todd (Sue) Haugen of West Allis, Wis., and Tony (Leslie) Haugen of McIntosh; one stepdaughter, Sherri Pape of Thief River Falls; 10 grandchildren; three great grandchildren; and one sister, Geraldine Hazwell of Azusa, Calif.

Preceding Bill in death were his parents and one sister, Margaret Ann Francis.

Memorial services are set for 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 13 at First Lutheran Church in Detroit Lakes, with visitation for one hour prior to services.

Interment will be at Oak Grove Cemetery, Detroit Lakes.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the West-Kjos Funeral Home, Detroit Lakes. Those wanting to share memories and condolences online may use the messages of sympathy section at