Francis Joseph Jimenez, 85, Lincoln, went home to be with the Lord on Monday (4/30/07) in Waverly. He was born Oct. 17, 1921, to Nicholas Francis and Doloris (Nadal) Jimenez in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. Francis came to the United States at age 9, but he returned to Puerto Rico at age 12 with his father's sudden death. He remained there until he was ready for high school, when he went back to New York City to attend what was called a "trade school," majoring in mechanics and aviation. He joined the U.S. Army immediately after graduation.
Francis was transferred to Bruning Army Air Field in Beatrice, where he met the love of his life, Orpha Hoppe. He married Orpha on his return from World War II service in Italy. They were married for 53 years before Orpha's death in 1998.
Francis continued his military career in the Nebraska National Guard with the 67th Infantry Support Brigade and was a member of the Guard's pistol team, winning many medals and trophies. He was also a member of the V.F.W. and American Legion Post 3. He retired in 1986 with 36 years of service, not including his years in the Army during World War II.
Francis and Orpha were charter members of Sheridan Lutheran Church and remained active until Orpha's death.
Francis is survived by his only daughter, Francine Baatz and her husband Monte; two granddaughters and their husbands, Nicki and Alex Clarke and Gretchen and Scott Rathbun; great-granddaughter, Hailey Ann Clarke, all of Lincoln; nieces, Linda Larca of California, Nancy Lowe and Brenda Carpenter and their families; nephews, Randy, Dick and Todd Hoppe and their families. He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Orpha; his parents; and a sister, Norka.
Services: 10 a.m. Saturday, Sheridan Lutheran Church, Lincoln. Burial with military honors will follow at Wyuka Cemetery. Visitation: 4-8 p.m. Friday, Wyuka Funeral Home, 3600 O St. Memorials suggested to the family. Condolences for the family: www.wyuka.com.
Source: Lincoln Journal Star, 2 May 2007