Joseph Charles Naekauna “Joe” Francis Jr.

Posted On April 30th, 2013 -

Joe Francis was born in Honolulu on April 21, 1936. He passed away at his home in Kaneohe on April 15, 2013, after a long illness at age 76. Joe lived a wonderful, rewarding life where he accomplished things many only dream of as an athlete, and then returned to Hawaii where he positively impacted thousands of young people as a teacher and coach. He also passed his wisdom and aloha on to his seven children (sons Mark, Anthony and John Francis and Aina, Kaohe and Ikaika Alama-Francis and his daughter Leeya “Makana” Alama-Francis) and his 10 grandchildren. Of course, there is also Ku’ulei, who was by his side and comforting him to the very end in the way only a loving wife and a nurse with hospice training could. Joe was a sports star at Kamehameha, and this helped him get a scholarship to play football at Oregon State, where he led the Beavers to success that Corvallis had rarely seen. Joe led the team to the Rose Bowl in 1957 as a junior and had 207 yards of total offense in the game. He was team MVP twice. That led to a pro career with the Green Bay Packers where he was coached by the legendary Vince Lombardi. Joe spent the 1958 and 1959 seasons with the Packers, and after an injury in 1960 he played for Montreal in the Canadian Football League in 1961 and 1962. After coaching at Oregon State, Joe returned to Hawaii and managed the Outrigger Showroom in Waikiki. He continued coaching at Saint Louis, Kamehameha, Pac-Five and was head coach at Pearl City. Pearl City is also where he taught physical education for more than 30 years. All along the way he made lifelong friends among his colleagues and inspired his players and students. Joe always projected quiet strength and humility. Besides his family, for whom he loved to cook and clean house, his great loves were his ’55 Chevy convertible and his weekly golf game. Joe will be remembered in a Mass 11:30 a.m. today at St. Ann’s Church in Kaneohe. Visitation: 9 a.m. at the church. Program: 10:30 a.m. Burial: 1 p.m. at Valley of the Temples. Casual attire.

- Denotes U.S. Military Veteran