On Saturday, September 17th, 2022, Christopher Shane Francis, passed away peacefully at his home in Sandy, Utah. He was 56 years old and is survived by four daughters, a granddaughter, and a loving significant other.
Chris was born June 1st, 1966 in Santa Ana, CA to his parents, Krystyne Gibby and Michael Francis. As Krystyne and Mike’s oldest child, he enjoyed spending time outside riding anything that went fast, family trips to Lake Powell, and growing up alongside his younger brother, Dana, and his younger sister, Heidi. Krystyne and Mike eventually split apart and each re-married in due time. Mike married Detra, a talented chocolatier, with whom he had another two boys, Luke and Leif. Krystyne married George, an endearingly kind and successful dentist, with a practice in Hemet, CA. George and Krystyne’s union further expanded Chris’ family by adding eight additional siblings; George Jr. (Cody), Scott, Brad, Kelly, Dallas, Holly, Jennifer, and Laura. Chris’ fathers, Mike and George, preceded him in their departure from this life and are sure to have been his awaiting companions as he moved beyond.
Chris spent his youth, and indeed much of his life getting outside, listening to music, and spending time with his family and good friends. Chris was uncommon in the sense that he was able to cultivate and maintain a remarkable amount of lifelong friendships. Many of those friendships began in his teenage years in Hemet. During his teens, Chris achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, which he was very proud of, and he graduated from Hemet High School in 1984. Shortly after, he began his pursuit of a Bachelor’s degree at Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho. From 1987 to 1989, Chris chose to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Peoria, Illinois where he had the opportunity to serve in Nauvoo. Although organized religion would not remain a part of Chris’ life in the future, his mission experience was formative in the sense that it helped solidify his own personal belief in God and Jesus Christ that would help carry him through the ups and downs that were still before him, even up to the very end.
After completing his mission, Chris returned to university shortly thereafter. He graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor’s degree in English and went on to have a successful career in retail and dental software and imaging sales, often traveling around Utah, the Southwest, and various locales across the West coast for work. While in college, Chris also married Sara Visick. Chris and Sara had four daughters together, Lindsay, Hannah, Brooke, and Nicole. Chris’ girls were the pride of his life. He loved them and still does. All of Chris’ daughters are supremely talented and full of potential, so he loved to celebrate their successes and share updates about his girls with his friends and family. Quality time spent with his girls was perhaps Chris’ great treasure during his time here and he loved to spend that time having fun.
Chris loved music, particularly alternative rock from the 1980s and 90s, as well as some classic rock staples. He was well-known for testing out the limits of any given speaker system by blaring “When the Levee Breaks” by Led Zeppelin (but never any Coldplay). He loved adventure and being outside. Chris could often be found taking his boat out for a spin on the lake, exploring a new spot on his motorcycle, or seeking some personal refuge on his paddleboard up at Rockport Reservoir. He loved basically anything on wheels; motorcycles, BMX bikes, fast cars, and mountain bikes. He could do it all. He also had a particular penchant for receiving speeding tickets. Not only did he love riding in or on all these different types of bikes, boards, or automobiles, but he was also an adept and intuitive mechanic and handyman. He loved to fix what needed repair and to tinker with what he felt he could improve. On many occasions, he extended a helping hand to his children, parents, siblings, nieces, nephews, neighbors, and total strangers when they needed some extra assistance. If you didn’t know how to do something, you could count on Chris to help you figure it out. He would never leave you hanging with a problem that he could help solve, he would always take the time to figure out what was going on and to decipher the best way to approach a resolution. Chris often came through in the clutch, right when you needed him, and was such a blessing in the lives of many.
One of the greatest blessings in Chris’ life was his longtime girlfriend and unconditionally supportive significant other, Robin Stewart. Terms like “girlfriend” and “significant other” don’t really come close to encapsulating just how much of an impact Robin had on Chris. Despite the fact that pretty much everyone around him held him in high regard, Chris didn’t think of himself so highly for much of his adult life. Robin helped him to begin seeing himself in a kinder, more positive light, not through persuasion or pleading, but rather through persistent and genuine love. Robin was a necessary force of stable, loving positivity during some of the darkest days of Chris’ life.
Chris was diagnosed with advanced stage esophageal cancer in the summer of 2020. Despite the insistent pain he endured, the unpleasantries of chemotherapy and radiation, and the ever-lingering shadow of unfavorable odds, Chris met his battle with cancer head on, determined to fight, and he certainly did so. While undergoing treatment, Chris experienced periods of relative health and spells of protracted suffering, but no matter how he felt, he maintained a powerful and admirable grace. He almost never complained to others and rarely pitied himself, despite undoubtedly wrestling with feelings of anxiety and fear in private. For much of Chris’ life, he was known as an intensely private person, unwilling to share too much of what was going on in his mind; but after his diagnosis, this began to change. Little by little, Chris began to share more of himself, and by doing so, many of his relationships deepened to previously unknown and inexperienced levels. Surely, these deepened connections with others helped motivate Chris to battle as long as he could muster the strength. A similarly crucial motivator for Chris was the birth of his first granddaughter, Blakely, to Hannah and Brett. There was a time where it was uncertain if Chris would be well for long enough to even witness Blakely’s birth, but he fought vigorously to be able to meet her. Not only was he able to meet her, he was also able to enjoy a close bond with her. Chris and Blakely loved each other and those who witnessed them interact can attest that Chris may never have been as happy as when he was able to hold his granddaughter. She was a beacon of hope to him as he is an example of strength to us. The experience of being a grandfather was something that Chris fought tooth and nail for and he certainly established himself as an “off the wall” grandpa.
All in all, words here cannot describe how much we will miss Chris. Any attempt to illustrate that in text would fall utterly short, but we eagerly await the day where we can see him again, give him a hug, and maybe go on a ride or sit down for a game of cards together.