John E. Francis Jr.

Published 10:22 am Monday, March 27, 2017

PENDLETON, NC – John Eldridge Francis, Jr., age 84, passed away suddenly in a tragic accident on March 22, 2017 while working at his shop.

Mr. Francis was born, the 2nd of six children, on July 12, 1932 to John Eldridge Francis, Sr. and Vidie Spence Francis in Murfreesboro, NC. He graduated from Conway High School in 1950 then served his country in the United States Air Force for four years. After his service to our country, he graduated from welding school in Cincinnati, OH and Nashville Auto Diesel College in Nashville, TN.

John married the love of his life, Peggy Vinson, on March 7, 1959. John worked at Union Camp in Franklin, VA for 14 years before working as a foreman at CF industries in Winton, NC. He was the founder of Murfreesboro Machine Shop and ran that business for many years until he sold out and started P J & J Firewood and P J & J Hydraulic. He was a welding contractor for Georgia Pacific before starting Francis Sand & Gravel, Inc., while raising cattle.

John was a lifelong member of Meherrin Baptist Church. He loved his Sunday school class and fellow choir members. John was a longtime Mason and Shriner. He was an avid fisherman and hunter since childhood. John was the president of Garris Hunting Club for the past 15 years and always enjoyed time spent fishing with his wife and grandchildren. He never felt more connected to his Lord than when he was enjoying God’s outdoor beauty. John was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend that will be deeply missed by all that knew him.

Besides his parents, John was preceded in death by his sister, Nellie Francis Shackleford, and nephew, Anthony Clark Francis.

John is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 58 years, Peggy Vinson Francis; son, John “Jef” Eldridge Francis III and his wife Donna of Murfreesboro; daughter, Jessica Francis Deal and her husband Dr. Martin of Oxford, NC; two grandsons, Tanner Brett Francis of Murfreesboro, and John Michael Deal of Oxford; two granddaughters, Molly Francis Deal and, Sydney Martin Deal, both of Oxford; four brothers, Walter C. Francis and his wife Marie of Murfreesboro, Carter Francis of Lawrenceville, GA, Larry Francis and his wife Jan of Murfreesboro, and Jerry Steve Francis and his wife Diana of Apple Valley, CA; also surviving are numerous nieces and nephews and many friends.

The family received friends on Friday, March 24, 2017 at Garrett-Sykes Memorial Chapel-Murfreesboro, Murfreesboro, NC.

A celebration of life funeral service will be held on Saturday, March 25, 2017 at 2:00 pm at Meherrin Baptist Church, Murfreesboro, NC, with Rev. John Porter, officiating. Burial will follow at the Meherrin Baptist Church Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made directly to the Meherrin Baptist Church, 519 Meherrin Lane, Murfreesboro, NC 27855 or online by visiting, John Francis.

Garrett-Sykes Memorial Chapel is handling the arrangements for the Francis family and online condolences can be directed to the family by visiting