Family Login:

Merna I. (Partington) Francis

Merna I. (Partington) Francis
  • August 22, 1933 - January 17, 2020
  • Kalamazoo & formerly of Comstock Township, Michigan
  • Gull Lake United Methodist Church
    8640 Gull Road
    Richland, MI 49083

Share This Obituary
Resources

Send Flowers
 Local Florists


Memories & Candles

“Merna, Joan Nine, and I all joined Asgrow International about the same time and soon became good friends. When I was engaged, they hosted my wedding...Read More »
1 of 12 | Posted by: Darlene Stange - Battle Creek, MI

“I am so sorry to hear that Merna has passed away she was a very good friend of our family and a pleasure to have worked for. She will be truly missed...Read More »
2 of 12 | Posted by: Drusilla Wright - Detroit, MI

“I am so sorry to hear that Merna passed away. She was a very dear friend and person of virtue, faithfulness and cheer to those that worked with her...Read More »
3 of 12 | Posted by: Dianna Allgaier - Springfield, MI

“From 1997-2000, I worked with Merna at the local branch of the Arthritis Foundation. She was an intelligent, competent and committed volunteer whose...Read More »
4 of 12 | Posted by: Nancy Servoss - Kalamazoo, MI

“I am so sorry to hear of Merna's passing. We've lost a very committed United Methodist and child of God! I am so glad she was part of Gull Lake UMC...Read More »
5 of 12 | Posted by: Sean Kidd - Kalamazoo, MI

“What memories!!! Merna was a "go getter" doing the Lord's work. She was strong in her beliefs and faithful to her hubby, family, friends, and...Read More »
6 of 12 | Posted by: John and Carolyn Hill - Vermilion, OH

“Merna was and always be an inspiration to me. She was an amazing woman who loved her family and friends dearly. She was full of life and lived her...Read More »
7 of 12 | Posted by: Heather Stiver - Three Rivers, MI

“Merna was a great volunteer at the Comstock Community Center. She was always up to helping and participating in a variety of activities that we got...Read More »
8 of 12 | Posted by: Mary Gustas - Kalamazoo, MI

“I worked with Merna at the Asgrow Seed Company for several years and enjoyed her friendship very much. She had a good sense of humor but never...Read More »
9 of 12 | Posted by: MARILYN METTY - SCOTTS, MI

“So Sorry for your Loss❤ ”
10 of 12 | Posted by: Lisa Gregory - Powell, OH

“Blessings to all. Your mom was so kind and wonderful. Thinking of all. ”
11 of 12 | Posted by: Jeannine Donigan-Hales - MI

“Mera and Are would be at the old 8:30 service regularly. Both were at my father Johns Memorial service at Portage UMC in 2008. She was Gull Lakes...Read More »
12 of 12 | Posted by: Tim Stamm - Augusta, MI


Stained Glass Emblem

Merna I. (Partington) Francis formerly of Comstock Township

Merna died Friday afternoon, January 17, 2020 at Friendship Village in Kalamazoo, MI.

Merna was born in Cairo, IA on August 22, 1933 to Royce and Ruby (Main) Partington. She was a graduate of Wapello High School and attended Iowa State Teachers' College.

Merna met Aden Francis while working as a secretary at the H.J. Heinz Company, Muscatine, IA and they were united in marriage on October 24, 1954 in Muscatine. They moved to this area in 1973.

While their children were growing up, Merna volunteered her secretarial skills at church and community organizations. Later she was employed as a secretary at the Upjohn Company, retiring as executive secretary to the president of Asgrow Seed in 1995.

Merna became a member of the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) when it was known as Professional Secretaries International. Her involvement with the organization was extensive, having served as Secretary and President of the local chapter. She especially enjoyed attending state, district, and national conventions with her colleagues. She was proud to attain the Certified Professional Secretary certification.

Merna was a member of the Gull Lake United Methodist Church, where she was active in the United Methodist Women, sang in the choir, and served on many committees. She enjoyed attending the West Michigan Annual Conference and served on the Commission on Archives and History for the North Central Jurisdiction of the UMC.

Surviving are her husband of 65 years, Aden; her daughter, the Rev. Dr. Tamara A. (Rev. Philip) Wilden of Delaware, OH; her son, Aden Eric (Dr. Tyra Wolfsberg) Francis of Vienna, VA; four grandchildren (Rebecca, Andrew, and Elizabeth Wilden and Nathaniel Francis) and a sister, Wilma Fosholt, of Muscatine, IA; as well as many beloved nieces and nephews. Merna was preceded in death by her parents; her brothers Russell, Merle, Melvin, Delbert, and Ronald Partington; her sisters Devine Frownfelter, Carol Stevens, Pauline Hixon, and Donna Partington.

Merna's family will greet friends on Thursday, January 23 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care, Richland Chapel, 9170 East D Avenue (M-89). The funeral will be held on Friday, January 24 at 11:00 a.m. at the Gull Lake United Methodist Church, 8640 Gull Road, Richland, MI 49083 with the Rev. Len R. Schoenherr and the Rev. Mike Tupper officiating. Interment will follow at 2:30 p.m. in Fort Custer National Cemetery, Augusta, MI. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to the Gull Lake United Methodist Church.