Francis Lyle Montabon, age 88, of Gleason, WI, entered his Heavenly home on Thursday, January 19, 2023, at the Aspirus Merrill Hospital. He was born on March 22, 1934, to the late Antone and Theresa “Lillian” (Wedler) Montabon in Gleason at “Wedler’s Pond”. Francis graduated from Merrill High School in 1951. He proudly served in the United States Army until his honorable discharge. He met the love of his life and soul mate, Barbara Jensen, on June 7, 1959, and eventually the two lovingly exchanged marriage vows on August 26, 1961, in Gleason, a union lasting over 61 years. Francis was a sprinkler fitter with the UA Road Sprinkler Fitters Local Union 669, and had recently attained recognition for 65 years of membership. He traveled extensively throughout the upper Midwest installing sprinkler systems in commercial buildings. In his younger years, Francis enjoyed bowling as his family once owned the Gleason Bowling Alley. He and Barbara enjoyed going out and dancing and could dance to just about anything! Nicknamed “Frankie and Babs”, they could be found on the dance floor or even dancing in their own living room. Francis enjoyed computer games, card games, was an avid reader and studied genealogy. He adored dogs, all types, and they loved being around him. He also enjoyed watching sports, especially the Green Bay Packers and the University of Tennessee Volunteers. Francis was a man of God, reading and studying his Bible daily and was a faithful elder and active in his church. Francis is remembered as a witty, funny, and intelligent man that was very dedicated to God and his family. He will be sadly missed, but always in the hearts of his family and friends.
Francis leaves behind his loving wife, Barbara Montabon of Gleason; daughter, Kim (Lou) Kiernan of Knoxville, TN; grandsons, Sean and twins, Brian and Craig (Nirali Dixit), all of Knoxville, TN; nieces, Beth Ann (Mike) Hanson, Kelley (Tim) Heidemann, Pamela Lukesh, Carla Ritchey, and Suzanne (John) Montabon-Brandt; nephews, Craig (Cindy) Schielke and Perry (Debbie) Jensen; sister-in-law, Genevieve Jensen; special grand dog, “Nora” and many other relatives, good friends and special neighbors. He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Kermit (Sue) Montabon; sister, Beverly (Herb) Schielke; brother-in-law, Clifford Jensen; sister-in-law, Pearl (Harold) Boyle and nephew, Stanley Jensen.
The funeral service for Francis will be held on Friday, January 27, 2023, at 10:30am at Waid Funeral Home in Merrill. The Rev. Linda L. McCarty will officiate. Visitation will be held on the same day, from 9:30am, until the time of the service, also at the funeral home. Burial at Gleason Cemetery will immediately follow the service. Flag presentation will take place at the funeral home prior to leaving for the cemetery. In lieu of flowers, family wishes that donations in Francis’ name be directed to either the Town of Russell Fire Department, Lincoln County Humane Society, or the T.B. Scott Library in Merrill. The family of Francis wants to extend their deep appreciation and thanks to the staff at Aspirus Merrill Hospital, the first responders and to his special friends and neighbors for all the love, support and care. Waid Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Merrill is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences are encouraged and may be made at www.waidfuneral.com.