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MAY 26, 1952 -- APRIL 6, 2005

Michael A. Francis, 52, an Army veteran and longtime employee of the Buffalo Psychiatric Center, died of cancer Wednesday in Sister's Hospital.

A native of Columbus, Ohio, Mr. Francis moved with his mother and siblings to Buffalo in the early 1960s.

He joined the Army in 1972 and served in Nuremberg, Germany, until 1974, and in the Army Reserve until 1978. While in the Army, he completed his high school education at the Nuremberg American High School.

Mr. Francis graduated from Erie Community College, where he was editor of the student newspaper.

He worked for 19 years as a mental hygiene therapy aide at the psychiatric center until illness forced him to retire in 2003.

Family members also recalled that Mr. Francis helped people with drug and alcohol dependencies by drawing on his own experiences, working through Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous for more than 10 years.

He is survived by his mother, Josephine; a brother, Neal, and a devoted friend, Nicole Edwards, all of Buffalo.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday in Mount Olive Baptist Church, 701 E. Delevan Ave. Burial will be in St. Matthews Cemetery, West Seneca.