In Our Care

Joseph Francis

09/15/1985 - 01/17/2023


Obituary For Joseph Francis

Joseph Francis II, 37, of Pompano Beach, Fl, and Bristol, RI, passed away Tuesday, January 17, 2023. Just as the ocean waves continue to crash against the shore, so too is the swell of his loss to our hearts. Over and over again, the presence of Joseph's spirit reminds us of the strength and quality of his life cut short.

Born in Providence to Joseph and Cynthia (Mello) Francis of Bristol, RI, he is also survived by his sisters, Bethany Francis (companion Joseph Hozempa) of Bristol, Debra Ferrieri (husband William) of Somerset, brother Jeffrey Francis (wife Faith) of Warren, along with nephews and nieces Caiden and Edward Hozempa, Tracy Lima, Lauren Crawford, and Chris Ferrieri. He also leaves his longtime companion Maryellen Sargento.

From a young age Joe's passion for the water took him sailing on the East Bay, competing in races on club 420 class and Laser boats with a prowess and agility reserved for few. With the Bristol Yacht Club and through his years attending Portsmouth Abbey, he was an accomplished member of the sailing team winning numerous awards. Years of playing with travel soccer teams gave him another sport in which to excel.

He later graduated from Bishop Connolly and New England Tech.

Joseph joined the Navy in 2005 and became a Seabee as his father before him. Serving in Iraq and Kuwait, his tour involved transporting construction supplies across the most dangerous desert roads in wartime history. Stationed in Fallujah, he received the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, and Iraq Campaign Medal as well as countless accolades for distinguished performance prior to his discharge in 2012.

Naval training and extended studies paved the way back to the ocean. As a veteran he pursued a career in maritime engineering aboard luxury yachts and ships of all kinds in Ft Lauderdale. He became a respected member of that community as well as the Southern New England fishing and tugboat associations. He enjoyed the sea for all of its offerings, whether distance swimming, deep water fishing, or climbing on a surfboard to ride the next wave. Athletic with a splash of daring, all activities off the beach seemed to call.

Florida was now his home but New England was his heart. Especially in his love of cooking, (and eating!!) seafood. A talented and adventurous chef, he took delight in catching and preparing dinner for family and friends in the same day, confident that bringing people together is as affirming as the rising tide.

We now mourn the taking of this young, healthy, and precious life and drown in the sorrow it has brought. Forever in our hearts, JoeJo will be remembered for his loyalty to family, honor to his brothers, and his unyielding hugs.

Calling hours will be held on Wednesday, February 1, 2023, from 3-7PM in Smith Funeral and Memorial Services, 8 Schoolhouse Road, Warren.

Funeral services will be held on Thursday, February 2, 2023 at 9AM from Smith Funeral and Memorial Services, 8 Schoolhouse Road, Warren, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10AM in St Mary's Church, 330 Wood Street, Bristol.

Burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the "Justice for Joseph" Go Fund Me page to help defray mounting legal and professional costs involved in this incident.

Information/ online condolences please visit

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  • 03/10/2023

    I just learned of Joseph's passing in a letter from his Dad, Joe. My husband and I met Joseph at Baseball Spring Training in FL in 1995. He was with his Aunt and Cousins. We let him in front of us so he could get an autograph. He asked one of the ball players to autograph our ball because we had put him in front of us. He was such a polite young boy, and I immediately knew his parents had raised him right. We got his Mom & Dad's address from his Aunt and sent Braves Souvenirs to Joseph & his cousins, told his parents what a fine, polite young boy they were raising. We developed a friendship by mail with Joe & Cyndy & exchanged Christmas cards & notes and pictures of Joseph all these years. My heart breaks for his family to lose such a fine young man. I pray that my husband, who passed in 2021, will find Joseph and give him a heavenly hug. I have never forgotten this young boy who made such an impression on us. Rest in peace Joseph for heaven received a wonderful angel. Prayers for peace and Justice for Joseph for his family. My heart is so sad for such a young life to be taken. Brenda King

  • 02/04/2023

    Forever missed, always remembered, Joe was sweet guy when I met him. Must heart goes outt to his wonderful family, the Francis's Xoxo

  • 02/02/2023

    My deepest sympathy to the Francis family, my dear Brenda and family, may Joseph Rest In Peace. With love and prayers, Deborah Avila Burns

  • 02/02/2023

    Our deepest condolences to the Francis family. May Joseph rest in heavenly peace. Elsie and Tony Avila

  • 02/01/2023

    Eileen and I and our entire family were shocked and saddened to learn of young Joe's passing. We extend to Joe, Sr., Cyndy, Jeff and Bethany our deepest and most sincere condolences. Our happy memories of Joe at St Luke's School and his time at the Abbey with our youngest son will never fade. The Hewetts - Peter, Eileen, Katie, Patrick and Brendan

  • 01/29/2023

    Condolences to the family, may you cherish your memories. Rest in paradise. John and Donna Gablinske

  • 01/27/2023

    My deepest condolences to Joe Cindy and their Family. May Joe11 Rest In Peace.

  • 01/26/2023

    Our Sincerest Condolences Bethany and Family. We are so very sorry for your loss. May he Rest in Peace 🙏❤️✝️

  • 01/26/2023

    Dear Francis family, Please accept my deepest condolences for your loss. May your many happy memories of him bring you peace and comfort. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult tim

  • 01/26/2023

    They say that our eyes are the window to our soul. As we all know Joseph's eyes are a testament to that. Beautiful, kind, intense, magnetic, and filled with love. I am so lucky to say Joseph was not only one of my very closest friends ever since we were just young children, however I am even more lucky to say we remained that way throughout the decades we shared together throughout our lives. We discovered who we were as people, what future dreams we had for ourselves, our passions, the things that were struggles for each of us, and who and what really mattered in our lives. Every single one of those things unquestionably aligned and were the same for both of us. This allowed our friendship to grow stronger and deeper as time passed. We could make each other laugh when we wanted to cry, race our sailboats and bikes (he always beat me 100% of the time), and give each other a special kind of love and comfort I am certain that I will never find in anyone else. I was fortunate enough to witness such a unique, beautiful, and inspiring boy become a stronger version of all those qualities and grow into a one in a million man. He was family. He will always be my brother. I can't imagine not being able to share more time together, it breaks my heart in a way I can't articulate. However, Joseph's love and spiritual energy that made him so special is just too powerful to ever leave me. I know he will continue to be a beacon in the night for me and bring a smile deep within my heart every single time I think of him, pass his house, or speak his name. Joseph, I love you. We all love you. It is impossible not to.

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