Age 94, of Verona, Illinois, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, June 7, 2023, at Park Pointe Healthcare & Rehab Center in Morris, Illinois.
Born December 2, 1928, in Chicago, Illinois, Francis Joseph was a son of Frank and Irene (Briscoe) Schaefer. Shortly after his birth, the family relocated to Seneca, Illinois, where Francis spent his childhood. At the tender age of 13, he left school to help support his family by working on the family farm.
On September 16, 1950, Francis embarked on a lifelong journey with his beloved wife, Mary "Bonnie" Johnson, whom he married at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Morris, Illinois. Francis was an active member of St. Patrick's Church in Seneca, Illinois, as well as the Knights of Columbus. Although farming was his lifelong passion, he retired in 2018. Francis also found joy in boating, fishing, and immersing himself in reading, keeping current with world news, farm news, and enjoying his daily WSJ. He carried himself with dignity and strength, and he loved his family dearly. His family cherishes the many stories of his childhood and life on the farm that he recounted and shared with them throughout the years. He will be deeply missed.
Left to honor Francis' memory are his two daughters: Colleen (William) White of Verona, Illinois and Debra (Danny) Casto of Sadorus, Illinois; four grandchildren: Dr. Rebecca (Dr. Peter Ladner) Gieseker of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Meghan (Eric Savoie) Gieseker of Oak Park, Illinois, Matthew (Ashley Tureaud) Casto of Rockford, Illinois and Ashley (Josh) Jones of Villa Grove, Illinois; three great-grandchildren: Arlo Ladner, Callie Jones, and Wren Jones, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Francis was preceded in death by his parents, his beloved wife Bonnie in 2018, and his siblings.
In accordance with Francis' wishes, cremation rites have been accorded and a private family memorial will be held at a later date when Francis and Bonnie will be reunited in eternal rest. Those who wish to honor Francis' life please consider making memorial gifts to St. Patrick's Church of Seneca, Illinois or Lightways Hospice and Serious Illness Care of Joliet, Illinois.
Family and friends are encouraged to sign the online guest book, share cherished photographs, and celebrate Francis’ life through social media.
Cremation services and memorial arrangements have been made under the direction of the caring professionals of Reeves Funeral Homes, Ltd., 408 East Washington Street, in Morris (815) 942-2500.