After a brief battle with metastatic melanoma in the brain, Francis David Samson, 89, passed away quietly at home on June 10, 2019, in Fresno California. Francis lived large and was passionate about family, sailing and devotion to his faith and to the parish of St. Anthony of Padua. Francis was fortunate to have family and friends who loved and admired him.
Francis was born in Le Havre, France on April 30, 1930 and was the oldest of four siblings - brothers Phillipe and Paul Michel and sister Beatrix. He spent the first 19 years of his life in France where he and his family survived the German occupation during WWII. In his late teens Francis served a short time as a paratrooper in the French army. Following his service Francis arrived in Memphis, Tennessee began his career in the cotton business. Francis also met his first wife, Peggy in Memphis. They were married in June 1952 in Florida and shortly thereafter they moved to Fresno.
Francis forged a successful career in the cotton business, highlighted by his 20 years with the J. G. Boswell Company in Corcoran, California and later as an independent cotton broker after returning to Fresno. Francis will be remembered as a respected, fair, loyal and honorable man, both in his profession as well as with family and friends.
Recitation of the Rosary followed by Funeral Mass will be on Wednesday afternoon, June 12, 2019 beginning at 4:00 PM. at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, Bullard and Maroa Avenues in Fresno.
Private Committal Service will be at Holy Cross Cemetery in Fresno.
Francis’ true passion was sailboat racing. Buying his first boat in the early 1960s, he actively raced each year through 2018, initially with his wife Peggy, then with his son David and eventually with his grandsons. He loved spending time at his condominium at Huntington Lake, where he sailed or puttered around on his pontoon boat, fishing with his grandsons.
During his retirement Francis spent much of his free time at St. Anthony of Padua volunteering in a variety of roles including faithfully arriving at 5:30 several days a week to open the church in preparation for Mass. Through mutual friends from St. Anthony’s, Francis met Lenore Furtado. They were married in March 2010.
After God, foremost in Francis’ life was devotion to his family. He is survived by his daughter Leslie (Samson) Trela, grandson Greg, grandson and grand daughter-in-law Michael and Sarah Trela and great granddaughters Anna and Madeleine Trela; his son David Samson, daughter-in-law Cathy (Dunsmore) Samson and grandsons Matthew, Mitchell, and Marcus; his wife Lenore, Lenore’s daughter and son-in-law Diane and John Fradkin, Lenore’s son and daughter-in-law John and La Shanda Furtado and their five children.
Recitation of the Rosary followed by a Funeral Mass will on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 beginning at 4:00 PM at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church of Fresno (Bullard & Maroa Avenues) Private Committal will be at Holy Cross Cemetery in Fresno.
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