Lori Hedden Francis of Southington, Conn., passed away unexpectedly of natural causes on Monday, May 4, 2020, at MidState Medical Center. She was 50 years old.
Lori was born on June 4, 1969, in Morristown, New Jersey, the daughter of Richard Michael Francis and Marcia Havell Francis.
Lori grew up in Monroe, N.Y., and spent her summers at their family lake house on Greenwood Lake, one of her favorite places on earth where she would spend her days water skiing, boating and making a lifetime of memories with her extended family.
Lori graduated from Monroe-Woodbury High School and then earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Green Mountain College in Early Childhood Education.
Lori was a gifted all-around athlete, growing up playing competitive soccer, softball and ski racing while earning several MVP awards throughout the years. At Green Mountain College, she excelled in Alpine Skiing and Soccer, where she was named an All-American honorable mention and helped her team win the NAIA National Championships.
Lori had a sense of adventure and loved to experience new things. After college, she moved to Denver Colorado with her best friend, Chris Stack, which is where she fell in love with the mountains, powder skiing and cowboy boots. She then spent a few years in Idaho before returning East, moving to Vermont to be near her sister and closer to family. It was in Vermont where she met the love of her life, Andrew Ruth and it was there that they would spend the next eight years starting a family and creating a wonderful life together surrounded by family and dear friends.
In 2008, they moved to Southington, Conn., where they created a beautiful life and built an amazing "Southington Family" which spread wide and deep, making lifelong friends and lasting relationships throughout the community. From the schools to the sports fields to volunteering and endless summers at Winding Trails, she loved her community and we are so grateful for how much Southington loved her, too.
Lori was a teacher at heart and had a way with children that was truly magical. She spent years as a preschool teacher and as the director of the Children's Program at Killington Resort. She also grew up with a passion for real estate and later in life, she followed in her Mother’s footsteps and became a Realtor, where she excelled at helping others.
Lori was an avid photographer and loved capturing pictures of every special moment, holiday gathering, her kids sports events and the simple, daily moments at home with her family. She loved the outdoors, cooking, decorating, sunflowers and waterfalls - most especially McLaughlin Falls in Mendon, Vermont, which is where Andy proposed.
Lori accomplished so much in her life, but her true calling in this world was being a Mom to her beautiful children, Grady and Riley. They were, and will always be, her greatest pride and joy. She loved her kids above all else, to the ends of the earth, and her love will be a part of them forever and always. She was truly a SuperMom who valued family time above all else, including spending time with her Mom, Dad, sisters, brother in-laws and her nieces and nephews - who she truly loved like her own.
Lori was an extraordinary person with a beautiful smile that lit up the world and our hearts. She exuded warmth, she loved unconditionally and she was everyone's biggest cheerleader. Lori was selfless in every sense of the word, always the first one to help anyone in need. She was happiest when surrounded by her friends and family - the more the merrier - and she had this magical way of bringing people together and making everyone feel special. Lori is, and will always be, our sunshine.
“How lucky I am to have had something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” ~Winnie the Pooh
Lori is survived by her loving husband Andrew Charles Ruth, and their two beautiful children, Grady Francis Ruth (15) and Riley Ruth Francis (13) (Southington, CT); her mother and best friend, Marcia Havell Francis and her proud father, Richard Michael Francis (Stratham, N.H.); her adoring sisters, Pamela Steinmann (Hampton, NH) and Marci Francis (Stratham, N.H.); her brothers-in-law Robert Steinmann and Eric Flaim and her beloved nieces and nephews: Alexandria Steinmann, Corporal John Steinmann, Colby Flaim, Camden Flaim and Sydney Flaim. Her in-laws Mary and Jim Ruth (Mendon, Vermont), her brother and sisters-in-law Alex Ruth and Cheri Voisine (Redwood City, Califorrnia) and their children Zoe and Jack Ruth; her sister and brothers-in-law Abigail and Brian English (Mendon, Vermont) and their children Noah, Luke, Naomi, Faith, Levi, Seth, Samuel, and Eli English.
Donations in Lori’s memory may be made to the Benjamin Buckley Memorial Foundation, Ben Was Here, Inc., 109 Churchill St. Southington, CT 06489 or at http://www.benwashere.org/.
Due to the current health concerns surrounding the Coronavirus, a celebration of Lori’s life will be held and announced at a future date. Plantsville Funeral Home has been entrusted with handling the arrangements. For online condolences and to share pictures and memories, the family asks that you please visit the FaceBook Group Page: LORI FRANCIS Remembering Her Love, Laugher and Legacy @ https://www.facebook.com/groups/525680614770979/ or www.plantsvillefuneralhome.com