A Loving Tribute

Rena Marie Francis

September 20, 1944 – November 11, 2021
Submitted by Shelly Francis


Her six-word memoir: “She loves to (kinder)garden and dance.”

Rena Marie Goddard Francis was born in Bremerton, Washington, the third daughter of Elizabeth Jane McCormack Goddard and William Henry Goddard. As a painter, stained-glass and collage artist, seamstress, and fiber-and-natural-objects artist, she had an exquisite eye for color, aesthetics, and beauty. That showed up in her art, her home, her garden, her writings, and in the artful way she composed her life as a woman, wife, mother, grandmother, teacher, and friend.

Rena taught in Denver and Aurora public schools for over twenty-five years. She and Jeff moved to Palisade, Colorado, in 2001, learning to farm an orchard, transitioning 330 trees to organic. She was instrumental in bringing “Live from the Metropolitan Opera” to the Grand Valley.

At the age of 77, she died from the natural progression of a rare form of dementia, Posterior Cortical Atrophy (PCA) syndrome. Rena is survived by her husband Jeffery Francis, daughters Jenene Francis, Shelly Francis, her grandson, William Vickroy, and his husband Russell Cavallaro; her three sisters, Kathleen Mortensen, Marjorie Phye, and Christine Haifley; sister-in-law, Constance Hieb, and many nieces and nephews.

There will be a Celebration of Life, likely in the spring when her irises will be in full bloom (details to follow). In place of flowers, the family suggests a donation to HopeWest, whose staff provided remarkable and compassionate care.

Honor Rena with a donation to HopeWest

Gifts of remembrance are a meaningful way to honor individuals who have touched our lives. Your gift to HopeWest makes a lasting impact in the lives of others.

You can also donate by mail. Send a check to:

3090 N. 12th Street
Grand Junction, CO 81506

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