Thursday, February 18, 2010

Francis M. Worden

Francis M. Worden, 100, passed away on Thursday February 18, 2010. Francis was born on October 11, 1909 in Lewistown, IL, to the late Myrtle (nee: Negley) Davies and Elmer Carter. His stepfather was Ervin Worden. The family moved to the Stevens Point, area to farm in the spring of 1913 and then to the Racine area in 1922.

At age 18, Francis enlisted in the United States Coast Guard Life Saving Service at the Racine Coast Guard Station on March 19, 1928. On August 8, 1930, he married Almeda Hare at Christ Church in Waukegan, IL. At that time he was stationed at the Kenosha Coast Guard Station. He resigned from the Coast Guard on December 1, 1936, to go to work for the Milwaukee Electric Railway & Light Co. as a streetcar motorman and bus operator at the Racine Station. He transferred to the Fond du Lac Station in Milwaukee in June of 1940, retiring on January 1, 1975, with 38 years of service, whereupon he returned to Racine to live here permanently.

Francis was granted a leave of absence for the duration of World War II when he re-enlisted as a Chief Boatswain’s Mate in the United States Coast Guard serving aboard the LST 262 and was at Omaha Beach on D-Day in June 1944. The ship made many trips back and forth across the English Channel, carrying troops and supplies until the war with Germany ended. His ship returned to drydock at Orange, TX, to be outfitted for service in the Pacific, but the war with Japan then ended. Francis was then transferred to Detroit, MI, to be honorably discharged in September 1945.

He was awarded a campaign ribbon for the American Area; a campaign ribbon for the European, African and Mid-Eastern Area with one star for the Invasion of Normandy and an additional star for Convoy UGS36; and a United States Coast Guard Good Conduct Ribbon with one star. Francis also received a Lifesaving Award Gold Medal from the City of Racine for saving lives of the crew from the Steamship “Wisconsin” which sank off the coast of Lake Michigan near Kenosha on October 28, 1929.

He held life membership in the VFW; Amalgamated Assoc. of Street, Electric Railway & Motor Coach Employees of America, Local 998; and the Milwaukee Transport Employee Benefit Society.

Francis is survived by his son, Wayne A. (Virginia) Worden of Racine; daughter, Patricia L. James of Spokane, WA; son, Steven A. Worden of Spokane, WA; 12 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Married for over 71 years, he was preceded in death by his wife, Almeda, on December 30, 2001. He was preceded in death by two brothers and two sisters.

Funeral services only will be held at Sturino Funeral Home on Monday, February 22, 2010, at 12:30 p.m. Burial with full military honors will be held at West Lawn Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, memorials to The Salvation Army would be appreciated.

A heartfelt thank you to Dr. Gerald Wisniewski, Dr. James Tierney and their entire staff along with Walnut Grove Assisted Living Care and their staff for their care and compassion given over the years.

Sturino Funeral Home
3014 Northwestern Ave., Racine 262 632-4479

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