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Justin Francque

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Obituaries in Geneseo, IL | Geneseo Republic

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Justin Francque, a beloved son, brother, uncle, and nephew, died on Friday, January 6, 2023, at Misericordia Heart of Mercy Home in Chicago. He was 47. A visitation to celebrate Justin’s life will be held from 12 – 1 PM on Saturday, January 14, 2023, in the Benefactors Hall at Misericordia, Chicago, Illinois. Mass will follow at 1 PM in the Heart of Mercy Chapel at Misericordia.

In addition, a Funeral Mass will be held to celebrate Justin’s life at 11 AM on Monday, January 16, 2023, at St. Malachy Catholic Church, Geneseo. Inurnment will be at Spring Creek Cemetery, Atkinson (located next to the Francque Farms). Smith-Corcoran Funeral Homes, Chicago, is, with support from Vandemore Funeral Homes and Crematory, assisting the family with arrangements. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations to Misericordia.

Justin was born in Hammond Henry Hospital in Geneseo, Illinois on January 15, 1975, to Bernard Francque and Carole (Clifford) Francque, farmers in the Geneseo area. Justin had six older brothers and sisters, all of whom loved him very much.

Justin was born with severe cerebral palsy and led a life filled with dignity, love, and joy. Growing up, Justin joined his dad and mom in many activities that would most certainly not be viewed as safe today (or back then). Whether it was sitting in his wheelchair in the back of his dad’s pick-up or the bucket of the Bobcat loader (the wheelchair was secured with a log chain, of course); riding a horse with his sister Jennifer; joining his brother Joel on a snowmobile ride; riding in the pony cart with Grandpa Francque; getting his haircut at Carl’s Barber Shop (and on one occasion bringing a toad in his pocket as a gift for Patty and Carl); watching his dad and brothers sort cattle; riding in the John Deere tractor with his dad; watching his sisters play basketball, softball and cheer; going to mass at St. Malachy’s; watching his brothers play football; swimming in the pool at Aunt Kathy’s; hanging out with his dad and aunts while they had a drink (or two); visiting with his cousins, nephews and nieces; hanging out with all of the dogs that have called the farm home over the years; participating in and winning the Francque family talent show with his dad; watching his mom and dad deal with his six older siblings; attending the Chicago Blues Fest with his dad; waterskiing on Lake of the Ozarks with Dick Buysse; trusting his dad to safely build a makeshift wheelchair lift using spare parts and an old motor from the shed; loaning his wheelchair to his siblings for “wheelie” competitions; or engaging in a number of other activities (some of which will remain confidential, to protect the participants), Justin loved being a member of a large and loving family and part of the Geneseo community.

After a brief stay at the Anne Carlsen Home in Jamestown, North Dakota, Justin moved to Misericordia, a home for disabled children and adults located in Chicago, in 1984 and lived there for the rest of his life, with frequent visits to the farm. Justin loved Misericordia. It was his home for over 35 years, and he developed deep, loving connections with the staff and his fellow residents. Misericordia’s mission is to provide a continuum of care and support for children and adults of all faiths and cultures who have intellectual and developmental disabilities, with an emphasis on dignity, spirituality, acceptance, and quality of life. Justin’s time at Misericordia was filled with many diverse and fulfilling activities. Misericordia’s mission extends beyond the residents as it also offers peace of mind to families. The Francque family greatly appreciates the extraordinary care and support that Justin has received from Misericordia over many years. Despite Justin’s disability, between Misericordia and the farm, Justin’s quality of life was remarkable.

Justin had many interests. He loved driving back and forth to the farm from Misericordia with his dad, the Chicago Bears, the Chicago Cubs, country music, and spending time with his family and Misericordia friends.

Justin’s spirit was extraordinary, and he provided strength to his family and friends. He was so kind and had a great sense of humor. He was very patient and understanding when being cared for by non-professionals (i.e., his siblings). He helped all of us have more empathy and appreciation for the blessings in our lives.

Justin is survived by his mother, Carole; sisters, Jennifer Morelli, Chicago, Jessie (Mike Brode) Francque, Cincinnati, Ohio, and Jackie Peters, Geneseo; brothers, Joel (Heather) Francque, Geneseo, Jason Francque, Phoenix, Arizona, James (Cynthia) Francque, Park Ridge, Illinois; ten nephews and nieces, Nathan Francque, Lindsey Francque, Jack Francque, Leo Francque, Maria Francque, Elias Francque, Josie Peters, Lucy Peters, Tajah Brode and Rakim Brode; aunts, Marilyn Hultman, Diane Francque and Kathy Francque, all from Geneseo, and Margaret Clifford Ristau of Moline; cousins, Amy (Dean) Cochran, Alison (Clint) Nokes, Anne (Jeff) Doran, all from Georgia, and Matthew Hultman, Geneseo.

He was preceded in death by his father, Bernard, and his grandparents, Albert and Margaret Francque and Ralph and Mary Fay Clifford.

Posted online on January 10, 2023

Published in Geneseo Republic