Cover photo for Richard E. Francis's Obituary
Richard E. Francis Profile Photo

Richard E. Francis

March 9, 1909 — December 9, 2003

Richard E. Francis

Richard E. Francis, age 94, died Tuesday morning, December 9, 2003 at Brookwood Retirement Community in Cincinnati, Ohio. Until just recently, he resided on his Sharonville, Ohio farm.

Son of the late William B. & Agnes (Eikenberry) Francis, on March 9, 1909 he was the fifth generation born on the family farm, east of Camden, Ohio. Educated in the public schools of Preble and Butler Counties, he was a 1928 graduate of Hamilton High School. Preceded in death by his first Wife: Margaret (Rinehart) Francis in 1946 and Sisters: Rebecca F. Brower in 1999 and Evangeline Sohngen in 2002.

Mr. Francis was the founder and Owner of Reading Concrete Products of Cincinnati, Ohio. Through his fiercely independent and competitive nature, the business identified as Reading Rock, developed into the major supplier of concrete products in the tri-state area with plants in six separate locations. He served his industry as Charter Member and President of the Ohio Concrete Block Association, which he helped found in 1953. Active in civic organizations, Member of Lions International since 1938 serving as President of Middletown, Ohio Lions Club, Lions District 13H Governor (1941 - 1942) and International Councilor. Long time member of Cincinnati Rotary Club. Director of the Ohio Valley Goodwill Association and founding member of Safari International, a world wide wildlife conservation organization. Mr. Francis was recognized for his generous support of the Mayo Foundation by being designated a Friend of Mayo’s and by Hamilton County for his support of Sharon Woods Park and his gift of the Dorothy and Richard Francis Recreacres area on Conrey Road. Miami University designated him a member of it’s Prodesse Society in recognition of a gift of a wildlife specimen collection. His endowment for the maintenance of the collection made possible the Hoof and Horns room in the Hefner Zoological Museum on the Miami University Campus. He also endowed the Margaret Rinehart Francis Memorial Scholarship at Ohio Wesleyan in memory of his first wife.

Mr. Francis, a devoted family man, sponsored for years an annual picnic at his farm for members of his extended family. He is survived by his wife Dorothy (Bonzo) Francis of fifty years: Niece: Nancy Cottrell of Hamilton, Ohio; Nephews: Frederick Brower of Oxford, Ohio, Daniel Brower and William Brower both of Dayton and their families.

Family will receive friends on Friday, December 12, 2003 from 5:00 to 8:00 P.M. at Schmidt-Dhonau Funeral Home - 10980 Reading Road - Sharonville, Ohio. Friends and family will gather at Barnes Funeral Home - 220 East Main Street - Eaton, Ohio at 10:45 A.M. Saturday, December 13, 2003. A procession will travel to Sugar Grove Cemetery - West Alexandria, Ohio for graveside service with Rev. Wayne D. Morrison officiating.

In lieu of flowers memorials contributions may be made to Hospice of Cincinnati - 4310 Cooper Road - Cincinnati, Ohio 45242 or Hamilton County Park District - 10245 Winton Road - Cincinnati, Ohio 45231. Arrangements entrusted to Barnes Funeral Home - Eaton, Ohio. Condolences may be sent to the family via Guest Book at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Richard E. Francis, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Friday, December 12, 2003

5:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Saturday, December 13, 2003

Starts at 10:45 am (Eastern time)

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