Leona Francis

Obituary of Leona May Francis

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Leona May Francis

August 9, 1948 – January 23, 2024


It is with great sadness that the family of Leona May Francis announces she has peacefully passed away at Northern Lights Regional Health Center, Fort McMurray, Alberta, surrounded by her family on Tuesday, January 23, 2024 at the age of 75. 


She was born in Chatham, New Brunswick on August 9, 1948 and Leona was a proud Mi’gmaq woman who lived in Natoaganeg First Nation for most of her life.


Leona was a devoted, strong, loyal and loving person. She raised her family while attending Nova Scotia Teachers’ College to obtain her Teacher’s Certification. The Natoaganeg First Nation employed her as a kindergarten and nursery teacher from 1975 to 2006. Leona was well-liked by her colleagues and young students and she especially had a special place in her heart for the little mischievous ones.  Leona was also involved with many aspects of her community and she visited many of her Elders at home and in the hospital to ensure they were comfortable and safe. Leona moved to Fort McMurray to be closer to her children and grandchildren.  Leona’s family and community knew she fought a long and courageous battle with diabetes, refusing to lose her positive outlook on life and family.  She was well known for encouraging other amputee patients at the Glen Rose Hospital in Edmonton, and the long-term care facility Willow Square in Fort McMurray where she received excellent care.  Leona was generous to many of the residents at Willow Square.


Leona May is survived by her twin daughters, Gail Larry (Rodney) Hanifan and Dale Ann Larry (Cail) McCray; sons, Kenneth J Larry (Karla), Roger (Reggie), Larry (Aisha) of Natoaganeg; brothers, Keptin of Mi’kmaq Grand Council, Roger Joseph (Lois) Augustine, Marcel Thibodeau (Margaret), Richard-Ricky (Darlene) and Duane (late Kathy) of Natoaganeg and Michael of Montreal; sisters, Nonie (Ron) MacIntyre, Elizabeth (late Doug) Colburn, Mary (Chief George) Ginnish; her family from her father’s side, her sister Carolyn Barnaby; beloved grandchildren, Justin (Lacey) Larry, Gail Hanifan, Rodney Hanifan, Kenidi Jordan, Devon McCray, Sierra McCray, Jonathan Larry, Joseph Larry, Joel Larry, Jace Larry, Katie Tozer, Caris Larry, Chayse Larry, as well as many nieces and nephews, and her second husband Stan Francis (Elsipogtog) with who she still conversed with regularly.


Leona was pre-deceased by her first husband, Former Chief Joseph Larry Jr.; her parents, Mary Agnes Augustine-Simonson and Hubert Barnaby; her brothers Hubert (Barnaby) Patles Jr. and sister-in-law Jeannie (Morrison) Patles, Courtney (Sylvia) Augustine, Jerry-John Hubert Garrettson of Texas, and on her father’s side Alvin and Bruce Barnaby. 


The family would like to thank Dr. O’Conner, the Willow Square staff, and the Northern Lights Regional Health Center where our beautiful mother, Leona May, received exemplary care and compassion.


The funeral service will be held at Natoaganeg First Nation on Friday, February 2, 2024 and burial will occur in the spring. Arrangements are through Northumberland Funeral Services, Robert Anderson Funeral Services of Fort McMurray.

Funeral Service

Natoaganeg First Nation
47 Church Rd
Eel Ground, New Brunswick, Canada
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Leona Francis

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Leona Francis

1948 - 2024

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