MISSOULA – Francis Finley Mocabee, 79, of Missoula, passed away Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, at Community Medical’s Heart Center. He left this world peacefully and pain free in the presence of his caring wife, both his daughters, both his granddaughters and his little buddy great-grandson, Trevin.
Francis was born May 1, 1935, to Finley and Ruby Mocabee in his grandma Davis’ home in Garryowen. He lived in Hardin until 1948 when the family moved to Moiese. A few short years later, in 1953, they moved to Ronan. Francis started high school in Charlo , where he met his sweetie, Betty Turnbull. He graduated in 1954 from Ronan High.
On May 28, 1954, Fancis enlisted with the U.S. Army. No one was more proud to have served this country than he was. It was an eventful 20 years, he was stationed in several of the lower 48 states, Alaska, Korea and Germany. He served through two tours in Vietnam, the first of which he was with the Special Forces. He retired with honor from the Army on June 1, 1974, as a proud Green Beret.
Francis married his high school sweetheart and love of his life, Betty Turnbull on May 21, 1956. They had two wonderful children, Susan and Carrie. After retiring from the service they moved back to Montana and settled in Missoula. Francis worked for 20 years at the mill in Bonner, retiring from there June 30, 1997. Shortly after retirement, Francis pursued his passion for ranching and family by lending a generous, helping hand at his sister’s ranch in Ronan for nearly 20 years. He moved back to Missoula in June 2014.
Francis is preceded in death by his father Finley; sister Janet; brother Cecil; uncles, Cecil, Gaylord and Howard; aunts, Sally, Joan and Margaret; his mother and father-in-law Florence and Ed Turnbull; brothers-in-law, Stuart, Donald and Richard; sisters-in-law, Mary and Edna and four nephews.
He is survived by his loving wife Betty; both daughters, Sue and Carrie (Mike); granddaughters, Becca (Maxwell) and Brianne (Mike); great-granchildren, Mathew, Deandra, Myracle, Alysa and Trevin; his mother Ruby; brothers, Lance (Leah) and Rick (Emily); sisters, Beverly, Jane (Bob) and Marty (Bill) and his sisters-in-law, Nancy and Alice; uncle Quentin and aunt Evelyn along with several nieces, nephews, cousins and his beloved pets Myla and Mac.
Services will be held Monday, Dec. 15, at Lighthouse Christian Fellowship, 207 Eisenhower St. SW in Ronan with Pastor Sika Ulutoa officiating. There will be a viewing from 10-11 a.m., the service at 11 a.m. and then Francis will be laid to rest in the Ronan Cemetery with military honors. A potluck reception to follow back at the church.
In lieu of flowers please donate to the Lighthouse Christian Fellowship of Ronan or to Community Medical’s Heart Center of Missoula.
Death leaves a heartache no one can heal. Love leaves a memory no one can steal. We love you, Grandpa!