The world’s light dimmed a little on July 10th, 2020, when Michael S. Francis unexpectedly passed in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The beloved Brother, loving Son, Uncle, Nephew, Cousin, and Friend lost his battle with Myotonic Dystrophy and is finally at peace.
As a young boy, growing up in Westerville Ohio, Mike was a handful and could never get away with anything the way his older Brother did. The poor kid always got caught by Dad and suffered the consequences. This OSU Alum had immense intelligence only matched by his inherited stubbornness. This stubborn streak would be his salvation as he never gave up on anything he pursued. Once his mind was made up, that was that, and no amount of debate could change it.
Mike left home late in life because he wanted to help Dad take care of Mom. His help with Mom was a godsend to all of us. His presence allowed his Brother a sense of security and his Father the ability to properly care for the love of his life. During that time, Mike not only worked as a professional Male Model, but also dabbled in professional bodybuilding. This led Mike to start a successful fitness company that had him rubbing shoulders with the such greats as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno.
After years of success, his disease began to take a toll, leaving him divorced and unable to physically cope with business. Despite his worsening disability, he still managed to find someone to love in Shirley Bennett. His girlfriend, Shirley, was steadfast in her commitment to him and became his caregiver. Mike’s stubborn streak resurfaced as he refused anything he saw as charity or assistance. He wanted to do it on his own, despite his Brother, Sister-in-Law and Shirley continuing to offer help. Through it all, Mike never gave up on trying to reverse the debilitating effects of his disease. He purchased special exercise equipment and maintained focus on his recovery. Hope was always present. This along with his stubborn streak made him an example of what is possible through belief in one’s self. Mike outlived the Doctor expectations by years.
In the end Mike remained always hopeful and engaged. He left this earth the same way he approached everything, on his own terms. He will be sorely missed and never forgotten by his older Brother, Family, and devoted Friends.
Family will receive friends from 12 Noon to 1 PM Thursday, July 23, 2020 at HILL FUNERAL HOME followed by funeral services at 1 PM Thursday. Interment Blendon Central Cemetery. Service will be livestreamed on the Hill Funeral Home YouTube channel.