Francis Willard Casperson

GLENDALE Ariz. — Francis Willard Casperson (Retired TSgt. USAF), 87, formerly of Bark River, passed away in peace on Saturday, July 13, 2019, at Hospice of the Valley in Glendale, Ariz.

Francis was born Feb. 27, 1932, to Donald and Sophie (Adams) Casperson in Liberty Grove, Wis., the oldest of five children.

Francis served 20 years in the United States Air Force and was stationed at multiple duty stations both at home and abroad. While stationed at R.A.F Manstin, England, he met his future wife, Margaret Gillespie. They were married May 17, 1952, in Dover, Kent, England, and would remain together for the next 60 years.

After retiring from military service at the rank of technical sergeant, Francis returned to the Escanaba area and began a second career in the automotive industry. As a body restoration specialist, he had the skills and abilities to deliver impeccable results. In his spare time, he brought numerous totaled and classic vehicles back to their former glory, several of which he is well-known for in Escanaba. Francis also worked nine years as a mechanic for the Chicago North Western Railroad. When he wasn’t tinkering with cars, he could also be found working with wood, or collecting unique rocks and gems.

In his final years, Francis loved spending time with his family, friends, and small dog, Bailey. He also enjoyed watching movies and NASCAR, talking about cars, making puzzles, and coloring in his color books. 

He is survived by four daughters, Sherry (Roy Jr.) Nelson, Terry (Gordon) Byrn, Michele (Murphy) Preusser, and Jacqueline (Gary) Lindmark; eight grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; as well as his brothers, Donald and Marvin. 

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his son, Kelvin; and his wife, Margaret.

Visitation will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., Monday, Sept. 23, at the Anderson Funeral Home in Escanaba. Funeral services celebrating the life of Francis Willard Casperson will begin at 12 p.m. in the Anderson Funeral Home Chapel with Pastor Ben Fox officiating. Burial and military honors by the Delta County Veterans Council will take place following the funeral services in the Gardens of Rest Cemetery. Marvin Casperson will be hosting a luncheon immediately thereafter — directions to be provided. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Hospice of the Valley, Glendale, Ariz., the Diabetes Foundation of America, or to any veterans charity.

The Anderson Funeral Homes are assisting the Casperson family and online condolences can be sent at www.andersonfuneralhomes.net.