Thomas H. Francis, 72, lifelong resident of Durham, died Wednesday, January 29, 2020 at Hartford Hospital. He was the son of the late Gifford and Grace Denison Francis. Tom graduated from Durham High School in 1965. Upon graduation Tom worked in the auto parts industry for many years including for Napa Auto Parts and Town and Country Auto Sales, where he was Parts Manager for the Lincoln Mercury and Mazda Division. While there he received a national sales award from Mazda for the highest sales of wholesale Mazda Auto parts. He ended his career working for the John H. Miller Company of Durham.
Tom had a lifelong interest in antiques and collectibles. He was part owner of Quarry Hill Antiques, sold antiques at the Clinton Antiques Center, at the Pomfret Antiques Center and at many local antique shows. He loved upstate New York and searched for antiques from his cottage on Canadarago Lake in Richfield Springs, New York for many years. His other interests included antique automobiles, Ford tractors, antique engines and pumps, he was an avid collector of tobacco tins, and was very interested in local archeology.
Tom was an active boy scout for many years and was a member of the Middlesex County Numismatic Society. He was a lifelong member of The Durham Historical Society and spent many years working at the Durham Fair in the Canning Department.
Tom had a passion for cats and had many feline friends through the years including Febe, Goldy, Mr. Claws, and Jaguar.
Tom’s last years were difficult as he dealt with a number of debilitating health issues. In spite of it all, he never let it get him down, he approached life with a smile, and he remained passionately independent.
Tom was predeceased by his brother Gifford Francis and several friends including David and June Cooke and Bob Reichenbach.
He leaves behind him several special friends and family including Robert and Emily Newton, Allan and Karen Patterson, Peter and Trudi Bright, Timothy Gastler, Mary and Geoff Craddock, Peter Sawyer, many second and third cousins, Charles Benton, John Miller, Bob Harris, Fran Korn, Mary Reichenbach, Lee Seeton, John Camozzi, Sherry Whiles, and Sherry Pelland.
Graveside services will be held at the Durham Center Cemetery on Saturday, February 22nd at 11:00 am with The Rev. Jeanette Cooper Hicks of the United Churches of Durham officiating. Memorial donations may be made in Tom’s memory to The Durham Historical Society, PO Box 345, Durham, Connecticut 06422. To share memories or send condolences to the family, please visit www.doolittlefuneralservice.com.
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