Gayland Roy Francis of Whitesboro, Texas passed away on April 24, 2023. He leaves behind his beloved wife of 52 years, children, grandchildren, and family and friends who will deeply miss this amazing man.
Born in Cordell, OK, Gayland was the oldest child of the late John Benjamin “Bub” Francis and Edna Mae Maddox Francis. He graduated from Lake Valley High School and studied Mechanical Engineering at Oklahoma State University. Gayland had a long career with John Deere starting with his first job working for the dealership in Cordell. In 1968, Gayland enlisted in the Marine Corps and served in Vietnam. During his time in the military, he received several promotions and was honorably discharged as a Sargent. While stationed at Camp Pendleton, California he met his wife, Julie. Gayland and Julie instantly fell in love and married in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 3, 1970. When Gayland returned from Vietnam, he returned to his career with John Deere. John Deere was the perfect career for Gayland. He got to work with great people, solve tough problems and travel all over the United States and internationally. Gayland retired from John Deere after 35 years of service but continued as a consultant for five years in China. He loved this opportunity to travel to China and experience the culture.
Gayland and Julie raised two daughters, Melissa Renee Francis Woodward, and Michelle Lynn Francis Reed. Gayland was very active in the community and received the Texas Lifetime PTA award for his work with the Richardson ISD.
Gayland enjoyed woodworking, fishing, hunting, and traveling. But most of all he enjoyed doing these things with his wife, family, and friends. He loved spending time with his Grandchildren, and they loved their Papa dearly.
Gayland was an amazing handyman. He could fix anything. His son-in-law, Lance said that Gayland was his Google when he needed to know how to fix something. His Grandchildren always said when something broke, it is time to call Papa.
Gayland is survived by his wife, Julie of Whitesboro, Texas; daughters Melissa Woodward of Haslet and husband, Lance; Michelle Reed of Oklahoma City and husband, Tim; Grandchildren Maverick Woodward, Austin Reed, Jagger Woodward, and Taelyn Reed and brother Jerry Francis and his wife Linda Francis. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, May 13, 2023, from 1-3 p.m. at Charles W. Smith and Sons Funeral Home, 601 S. Tennessee Street, McKinney, TX 75069. Gayland will be laid to rest at the Dallas Fort Worth National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers would like for donations to be made to Homes for Our Troops or Wounded Warriors.