ST. THOMAS, VI—Ian Gunn Francis, 46, passed away unexpectedly Wednesday, July 20, 2022, of cardiac arrest.
He is survived by his parents, James Francis of White Stone and Rosemary Francis of Kilmarnock; his sisters, Tara Francis Hunter of Deerfield, N.H., and Sara Francis Fujimura (Toshi) of Gilbert, Ariz.; his niece, Katherine Fujimura of Mesa, Ariz.; and his nephew, Andrew Fujimura of Gilbert, Ariz.
Ian entered the U.S. Navy shortly after high school graduation. There he honed his God-given talent as a chef. Graduating first in his class, Ian was allowed to pick his first assignment: Naples, Italy. He loved exploring Italy and its marketplaces, and enjoyed his work cooking for the admiral and visiting dignitaries.
Ian loved the beach, so upon discharge, he sought culinary jobs in North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida before returning to Kilmarnock for several years. Ian was known for his work ethic, infectious laugh, and a warm, welcoming smile that allowed him to make friends anywhere he went.
On Christmas Day 2021, Ian flew to St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, to begin a new adventure working at Lovango Resort and Beach Club. On his days off he took up a favorite new hobby, snorkeling, and enjoyed swimming with sea turtles. Ian loved the water—swimming, boating, canoeing and fishing whenever he could.
Ian knew how to enjoy life—whether he was hiking, camping, going to hear live music, critiquing the latest Star Wars series with his sisters, or seeking out a new, esoteric culinary adventure.
In 2019, Ian fulfilled a dream and went to Egypt where he contorted his tall body to descend into a pyramid, agreed to have a cobra draped around his neck, learned to play an Egyptian instrument, and sampled all the types of Egyptian cuisine he could.
Ian’s family will hold a private ceremony, but encourages friends to celebrate Ian’s life in their own memorable way.