Bernard Gilbert Francis Dies at 88

Bernard Gilbert Francis

Bernard Gilbert Francis was born on Nov. 20, 1935, in the community of Savan, St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands. After the passing of his mother, Everilda Pickering Francis, when he was 2 years old, and his grandmother, Hettelinda Russell Pickering, who passed a year later, he was literally then raised by a village of family members until he reached 13 years old.

He was sent to live under the guardianship of his Aunt Verdie and Uncle Arthur Pickering in Jersey City, N.J. He later began on-the-job training as an apprentice to a local master plumber.

In 1960, he was drafted into the U.S. Army where he served for four years. two active and two reserve. During this time in 1961, he married Elaine Consuelo Roebuck Francis then in 1968 later moved back to St. Thomas where he worked for the Department of Education Maintenance and Summer Youth Program for many years until 1994 when he retired along with his wife who worked at Chase Bank. They spent their “golden years” together traveling across the country and being pillars in their Church of the Holy Spirit and USVI community.

After almost 58 years of marriage, he mourned the passing of his beloved Elaine in March of 2016. He continued to reside on the west side of the island in Estate Bordeaux, where he later transitioned into eternal rest on Thursday, Feb. 1, with his only son Brian at his side, at his passing. He was 88 years old.

He is survived by his son, Brian Everett Francis; sisters: Diane Pickering Ridley, Linda Pickering Wilson and Donna Coates; cousins: Cheryl Schulterbrandt Plaskett, Cherylyn Schulterbrandt, Eve Schulterbrandt, Owen Schulerbrandt Ira Schulterbrandt and Larry Sewer; as well as a host of friends, family and extended family.

The viewing will be held at 9 a.m. followed by a funeral service at 10 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 22, at the Episcopal Anglican Church of the Holy Spirit in Estate Hope. Interment will be held at noon, Monday, Feb. 26, at Western Cemetery.