He was the devoted husband of 25 years to Melanie Ciosek Francis.
Raised and educated in Groton, CT, he was the son of the late Joseph J. and Anne C. (Salemi) Francis.
Francis was a 1978 graduate of Robert E. Fitch Senior High School and continued his education at the University of Connecticut. He spent a year of study at Lancaster University in England and at his graduation from UConn was awarded a BA in Political Science and a BS in Marketing. He then earned his Master of Business Administration at Tulane University Freeman School of Business, where he was the recipient of the Cornelius Award.
He had worked with his father at his business, Francis Electronics, throughout his teens and during the summer months while in college.
After receiving his MBA, Francis accepted a position with IBM. In the course of his career, he was involved with and served on the boards of numerous technology start up companies and had served as co-founder and President of ReadyAbout Interactive and President of Boston Interactive.
A longtime member of the board of the Massachusetts Innovation and Technology Exchange (MITX) and co-chair and judge for the MITX Innovation Awards, he spent the last several years acting as an adviser in support of various early-stage technology initiatives. He has also been a frequent guest lecturer at the Babson Graduate School of Business and the Boston College Graduate School of Business.
Francis maintained many long-term friendships and had a gift for striking up great conversations with total strangers. His outgoing personality, warmth, intelligence and sense of humor made spending time with him a pleasure.
An avid sports fan, he was ever present at sporting events at his children’s schools, and spent many years as an Assistant Coach for Natick Soccer. He had been a member of his high school tennis team and continued playing for many years. Francis was happiest at home with family and in quiet times he could invariably be found reading.
He is survived by Melanie; their son, Ian J. Francis and daughter, Lauren A. Francis, both of Natick; his loving sister, Joanne Francis Moukawsher and her husband Patrick of Mystic, CT; his Godson and nephew, Nicholas Moukawsher; his Goddaughter, Holly Lebejko LeClair; Melanie’s parents, Robert and Phyllis (McMillan) Ciosek of Somerset; and his nephew and niece, Robert “Bo” Kulbacki and Jill Kulbacki.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in Saint Patrick’s Church, 44 East Central Street, Natick, on Wednesday, April 12 at 10 a.m. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend.
Visiting hours will be held in Saint Patrick’s Church on Tuesday, 4 to 8 p.m.Interment Saint Patrick Cemetery.
There will be a 40-Day Memorial on Sunday, May 14 in St. Ann Melkite Catholic Church, 41 Cross Street, Waterford, CT, at the 10 a.m. Divine Liturgy.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made in John’s memory to Montrose School Athletics, 29 North Street, Medfield, MA 02052, St. Ann Melkite Catholic Church, 41 Cross Street, Waterford, CT 06385, or Saint Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 Saint Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.