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Letter to the Editor



Dear Editor,

This week the walking horse world lost a good friend. Mr. Bob Francis lost his battle with bone cancer Monday, January 19. Many of you didn’t know Bob Francis. He never owned a show horse, only an unregistered walking horse, Charlie Brown. Charlie Brown took Bob on many miles of trail pleasure. He was a good and faithful horse.

Bob was born and raised in Woodbury, Tenn. He left Woodbury when he joined the Air Force during the Korean War. After serving in the war, he settled in Michigan where he worked for the Ford Motor Company. That’s where he met and married June, his bride of almost 51 years. June and Bob raised two children, Bobby and Debbie.

After retiring from Ford Motor, he and June settled back in Woodbury. There he owned and operated the Mobile Oil Station. He was an active member of First Methodist Church in Woodbury serving in the choir and as song director of the congregation. He was a good man.

Bob’s first Celebration was in 1944 when City Girl won the big stake. He only missed about 12 Celebrations in 59 years. He loved the walking horse, and had forgotten more than most people knew about them.

For 10 years we had the pleasure of sitting in the box next to Bob’s at the Celebration. They were always fun and entertaining evenings. We became good friends. And you probably knew Bob too. You see, Bob Francis was the “man from Michigan” of whom Bobby Sands asked hundreds of Tennessee Walking Horse trivia questions during those “lulls” in the Celebration.

We will miss you friend. The Celebration won’t be the same without you.

Sandra Johnson

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