Francis Tonn

Born in Riceville, IA
Born on Aug 31, 1928
Departed on Mar 27, 2024

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Francis Lawrence Tonn, age 95, went to sleep on March 27, 2024 in the presence of his family.

Francis was born August 31, 1928 in a house in the country near Riceville, Iowa.  The family later moved to Riceville where he attended school.  He was proud to be a member of the Riceville High School football team and especially when they won the Corn Bowl Conference.  Francis graduated from high school in 1947.

On May 3, 1948 Francis Joined the U.S. Navy and did his basic training in Memphis, TN and was later sent to Oceana, VA where he entered VF-21 Naval Air Group as a Preparatory Airman and Basic Aviation Machinist.

Francis was then sent to Norfolk, Virginia and boarded the aircraft carrier USS Midway and cruised the Mediterranean.  He later boarded the aircraft carrier USS Roosevelt and was out to sea for many months.  He was later transferred to the aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea and they were sent to the Straits of Gibraltar and Italy for patrol.  Later his ship was sent to Port-au-Prince, Haiti and Cuba.  He was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy on April 25, 1952.

In October 1952, Francis met Delores Drtinova and they were married June 12, 1953.  They immediately moved to Des Moines, Iowa where Francis attended the Iowa Barber College under the G.I. Bill.  He did his internship in Des Moines.  After passing his final barber test, the owner of the Iowa Barber College approached him and asked him to be an instructor and manager of the Cedar Rapids Barber College.  In 1956, he and his wife moved to Cedar Rapids where he taught many to be barbers.

In 1954, Francis attended and graduated from the Reisch School of Auctioneering in Mason City and enjoyed helping his father with that on weekends.

In 1974, Francis started a new career as a Truckline Salesman and won many awards and trips for his ability to sell.  Francis was formerly the President of the Cedar Rapids Transportation Club.

In 1993, Francis retired and lived on his boat in Guttenberg for 30 years.  He loved all his grandchildren coming to stay with him in the summer.  They passed the time fishing, camping and riding the jet ski.  He was a member of the 611 Yacht Club of Guttenberg.

Francis is survived by his wife of 70 years, Delores; his daughter, Kim of Cedar Rapids; son, Jeff (Marla) of Swisher; grandchildren, Keegan (Jessie) of Cedar Rapids, Dr. Colton Tonn (Dr. Leah Linarelli) of Tucson, AZ; Kylie of Cedar Rapids; and his great granddaughter, Adalynn of Cedar Rapids.

His last words were “I had a good life.”