At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Cherryland Humane Society
2750 Ahlberg Rd.
Traverse City, MI 49686
(231) 946-5116
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


Barbara Francis of Traverse City, Michigan passed away peacefully on May 25th, 2014. She was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on November 27th, 1937 to Robert and Lorraine Rische. Following her graduation from Wisconsin Lutheran High School in Milwaukee in 1955, she worked at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

as a Comptometrist, and at Daggies's Diner as a waitress. She married David Petaja (a.k.a. Petajan) in 1957.

Their daughter Pamela Petajan joined them and as a family they spent many years making art and traveling in their Volkswagen van. Their favorite summer vacation was to visit "Michigan Grandma" Up North in Copper Country and an especially fun trip would include seeing all of David's Finnish relatives in Traverse City...

which always included an invitation to partake of a sauna or two.

After the death of her beloved sweetheart and soulmate David (who died shortly after their move to Florida in 1977), she remained in Ft. Myers, Florida for nearly 25 years. During that time she became a licensed beautician, married Bertram Francis ( a softball Hall of Famer from Missouri), and once again traveled to

faraway places such as Seattle and Vancouver, B.C.

She lived her last dozen years in Traverse City loving every minute being with her friends and family along with their beloved pets.

Please direct memorial donations to the Cherryland Humane Society, 2750 Ahlberg Rd. Traverse City, Michigan 49686. Private burial was held in the Green section of the Peninsula Township Cemetery, Traverse City. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com to sign the guest book, share a message and view the photo gallery. The family chose Life Story Funeral Home, Traverse City.