He was born Sept. 20, 1921, in Clay County, to John and Osa Francis, both deceased.
Milburn graduated from Bowling Green High School in 1941, played high school basketball and soon joined the war effort by enlisting in the U.S. Army. Following training in medium tanks at Ft. Knox, Ky., he was promoted to Staff Sergeant and mobilized into the 740th Tank Battalion assigned to the U.S. 1st Army in Europe.
Mr. Francis was a Tank Platoon Commander serving primarily under General Bradley in France, Belgium, Holland, Luxemburg and Germany. He and his "Daredevil Tankers" saw action at Utah Beach, the Battle of the Bulge, the Ardennes, the Siegfried Line and Ruhr Pocket.
Francis was decorated for valor with three Bronze Stars and numerous campaign citations. Following World War II, Francis was employed by Big Ben Coal Company, before settling into a 33-year career at General Motors, before retiring in 1983.
Mr. Francis was a former member of the First Methodist Chruch, 50-year member of the Masonic Lodge and the American Legion Post 2 of Brazil. In his spare time, he was a dedicated gardener, avid fan of IU and Pacers' basketball.
He is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Sue, sons Randy Francis and wife Jane, Philadelphia, and Gordon Francis and Jacki Eligan, St. Louis, grandsons Nick Francis and Ryan Francis (Philadelphia) and Michael Francis and Abbey Francis (St. Louis) and great-granddaughters Lilly and Claire (St. Louis).
Visitation will be at French Funeral Home Saturday, Nov. 29, 2008, from 11 a.m. until time of service. Services will be at the funeral home at noon Saturday with Pastor Tony Alstott officiating. Burial will follow at Clearview Cemetery with military graveside rites conducted by the American Legion Post 2 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1127.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to your favorite charity.
Visit www.frenchfuneral-home.com to light a candle in his memory.