Dr. Philomena Francis, Peoria

Dr. Philomena Francis of Peoria, IL passed away surrounded by family on Tuesday, January 24, 2023 after a long battle with cancer.  

She was born in Kollam, Kerala, India on September 13, 1949, and by five years old she already knew that she wanted to be a physician. She attended Catholic boarding school from the age of eight and was known for both top academics and the occasional mischief. 

At the age of 13, she started her pre-med courses and completed her residency in 1971 at the age of 22.  At that point, she moved to the U.S., arriving in Norfolk, VA and repeated her residency to receive U.S. confirmation of her medical degree.

Her life of service continued as she practiced medicine for the next 48 years throughout central Illinois with various offices in Morris, Dwight, Wilmington, Kankakee, and Streator.  She reached countless families through her work at Fox Developmental Center and Heritage Manor in Dwight, at the emergency room in Streator, and through the thousands of babies that she delivered that as she said “kept her practice young.”  

During this time, she also managed to raise her own family.  Despite her busy schedule, she would somehow always find her way to the many classroom birthday parties, school plays, band recitals, sporting events, and many more. And she would always be sporting a large tripod and VHS recorder to make sure she captured those precious memories. 

Her first grandchild arrived in 2012, starting a new phase of living by grandparent rules and spoiling her grandbabies.  She never hesitated to drop everything to come for major events, offer medical advice, and of course infinite hugs (her favorite).

She finally retired in November of 2019 to spend more time with her children and grandchildren and relocated to Peoria, IL. 

She will always be remembered for her vibrant personality, her empathy and compassion for others, her incredible strength, her delicious recipes, her love of movies, her caring soul, her beautiful smile, and her unwavering, unconditional, loving heart.

She was preceded in death by her parents, TA Francis and Lizzy Francis. She is survived by her three children and their spouses: Lisa (Daniel) Edwin-Moore of Schererville, IN, Alex (Holly) Edwin of Peoria, IL, and Sarah (Jimmy) Burton of Joliet, IL; and her five grandkids: Thomas Moore (5), Xander (10) and Abby Edwin (8), and Jackson (7) and Emmett Burton (5).

Philomena will be celebrated at a visitation and funeral at the Davison-Fulton-Woolsey-Wilton Funeral Home, 2408 W Willow Knolls Dr, Peoria, IL.  Fri, Feb 3 Visitation 4-8p with an opportunity to share your memories/stories of Dr Mom starting at 6:30p. Sat, Feb 4 Visitation 11a-1p and Funeral Service 1-1:30p.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to American Red Cross or Salvation Army. Online condolences can also be shared at https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/peoria-il/philomena-francis-11120946