Jean Sonnikson Francis passed away on September 26, 2020 at her home in Martinez at the age 84.
Jean was born in Healdsburg, CA to Emmet and Emma Sonnikson on April 8, 1936. She was raised in the Alexander Valley (just outside of Healdsburg) and was a farm girl who grew up picking prunes in the summers.
She went to school (Grades 1-8) in a one–room schoolhouse in Alexander Valley (where her father had also attended) and then graduated from Healdsburg High in 1953. While attending San Jose State and San Jose Bible College, she met James (Jim) Francis and they were married on February 24, 1956. They moved to Martinez when Jim became pastor of what is now Morello Hills Christian Church. Jean would give birth to four children and raise them in Martinez. Jean was a homemaker, a remarkable mother and wife, and Jim’s right hand in ministry for 45 years. She was a prayer warrior, a gift-giver and an amazing note-writer/card sender – so many have been blessed by her encouragement in these ways. All of this was done out of a humble and vibrant love for Jesus, her Lord and Savior.
Jean is preceded in death by her parents Emmet and Emma Sonnikson. Jean is survived by her husband of 64 years, James C. Francis; her sister, Gail (Ken) Cory of Alexander Valley, CA; her children: Dr. Stephen (Carrie) Francis, Jeanette (Mark) Barnes, Ruth (Steve) Corey and Bill (Sharon) Francis, all of Martinez; her grandchildren: Marcy (James) Savala, Philip (René) Barnes, Valerie (Luke) Heil, Andrew (Alysia) Corey, Cami (Justin) Barker, Allison (Jeffrey) Young, Emmet (Katie) Francis, Connor Francis, Samuel Francis, Ryan Francis and William Francis; nine great-grandchildren, and many beloved nieces/nephews, cousins, friends and a church family that loved her very much.
Services were held on Saturday, October 3 at Morello Hills Christian Church. Jean was laid to rest in Oakmont Memorial Park and Mortuary.