Edgar Walter Francis III, known as Butch, died on July 21, 2021 at the McCarthy Care Center in Sandwich surrounded by loving family. He was 78.
Born to Celeste and Edgar “Gar” Francis in Provincetown on March 19, 1943 at home on Dyer Street, he grew up in Provincetown and Truro. He graduated from Provincetown High School in 1961 and was the first in his family to attend college, graduating from Cornell University with a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s in teaching.
In 1966, he married Karen Elizabeth Landsberg. They moved to California, where he taught middle school science in Los Angeles. Returning to the Cape in 1968, he taught biology at Chatham High School and anatomy at Cape Cod Community College. He was respected as a tough teacher with high standards.
Later, with his father, he developed the North Truro Camping Area, which he continued to run after his father’s death. He also ran Lower Cape Bus and Taxi and operated a Mobil gas station. “Nobody worked harder,” said his daughter, Raquel.
A justice of the peace, he enjoyed officiating at weddings. He never turned a couple away.
A private and commercial pilot, Butch loved to fly his Cesna 172 single-engine high-wing, his “Volkswagen of the sky,” as an air taxi and for pleasure. He also maintained and drove his mother’s Cadillac throughout his life.
He volunteered as a stage hand and occasional actor with the Provincetown Theatre Company. Butch also volunteered for the council on aging, and helped organize the annual Truro Treasures parade and “Dump Dance.” In 2017, he was profiled in the Truro Historical Society’s Living Legacy project.
For many years he spent winters in Palm Desert, Calif. His home base, however, was always North Truro.
When Butch and Karen were raising their young family, they traveled to Brazil, Venezuela, Peru, India, Kenya, and Egypt. His favorite destination, however, was the Galapagos Islands. Raquel remembers that trip with special fondness. In third grade, she was stunned by the beauty of the place. Years later she took her two sons on the same trip.
Butch relished entertaining, organizing events, and the theater. He could often be found at his favorite restaurant, Fanizzi’s, enjoying the company and the view.
Butch, a devoted son, father, and grandfather, is remembered for his love of and dedication to family. When his grandchildren were living in Brewster, he would drive down several times a week to see them, if only for ten minutes. He cared for his partner of more than 20 years, Beverly Brazil, until her death in November 2020.
Butch is survived by his children, Dr. Edgar “Eddy” Francis and wife Dr. Linda Schubert, and Raquel Ellis; and by his grandchildren, Benjamin and Gavin Ellis. Butch is also survived by his sisters, Pamela Coelho, and husband Michael “Bear” Coelho, Nadine Hutchinson and husband Charles “Hutch” Hutchinson, and Jo Francis Johnson.
At Butch’s request, services will be private.