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Robert L. "Bob" Francis

July 26, 1929 ~ July 19, 2018 (age 88)

Robert L. “Bob” Francis, 88, Coal Valley, died Thursday, July 19, 2018, at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City.

Funeral services are 10 a.m., Monday, July 23, 2018, at First Lutheran Church, 1230 5th Avenue, Moline, with Pastor Daniel Witkowski officiating. Burial is in Greenview Memorial Gardens, East Moline. Visitation is 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Esterdahl Mortuary & Crematory, Ltd., 6601-38th Ave., Moline. Memorials may be made to First Lutheran Church.

Robert was born in Moline on July 26, 1929, the son of Clarence and Juanita (Cooke) Francis. He married Carol Crouch on June 30, 1956, at Salem Lutheran Church in Moline.  He was a U.S Navy veteran. 

Bob retired from International Harvester (later Case-IH) in 1997 after 51 years of service. He loved his job. He started as a draftsman after high school. One of his early design assignments was to put the first two-row corn picker on a combine. This design was the beginning of using a combine to harvest corn.  Later in his career he became a project engineer leading development, testing, and production release of the axial flow combine series. He is credited with several patents.

He was a member of First Lutheran Church and former member of Salem Lutheran Church. While a member of Salem Lutheran Church he served as Church Treasurer, Sunday School teacher, Council member, and sang in the choir. He has served on the Property Committee, was an offering counter, and helped with many projects including ACT One at First Lutheran Church. He was a member of Oakwood Country Club and loved golfing with his buddies. Bob enjoyed traveling with his wife. They took cruise trips to New Zealand, Alaska, Mexican Riviera, Scotland/Ireland, Scandinavian capitals and New England fall colors. They also toured the United States and Europe.

Bob loved carpentry. He built 4 houses and 2 duplexes. He also helped his brother with the design and remodeling of his house and helped his nephew add an attached garage. He made many wood working items and matted/ framed pictures.

Bob is survived by his wife of 62 years; brother Dwight (Connie) of Geneseo; sister Barbara Neer of East Moline; many nieces and nephews, grand nieces and nephews and a great grand niece and nephew.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Richard, Gene, and Rodney; sisters, Norlene and Sheila.

The family would like to thank the staff at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in the neuro surgery center/intensive care and palliative care for their excellent and compassionate care for Bob.

Online condolences may be left for the family on the tribute wall.

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