Michael Francis Jr. was born on September 19, 1990 and raised in Staten Island. From an early age Michael loved playing sports, riding bikes, listening to music, playing almost anything outside and rough housing with his brothers and sister. Growing up in New Dorp, Michael started Staten Island Little League at age 7, where he continued until he aged out. Returning to umpire games and coaching his little brothers alongside his father Michael Sr. Michael proved himself a natural born leader, an athlete. Michael attended Monsignor Farrell High School where he excelled and found some of his lifelong friends. He found a group of young men who mirrored his values and morals, a real Vir Fidelis group. Michael had a way about him; he made everyone love him. He was so infectious that you couldn’t help but smile when he walked in a room. He always smiled right back, with the best smile and cutest dimple. He was a friend to everyone and everyone loved him. He was a wonderful son, brother, friend and all else in between.
Michael was the hardest worker. He began working construction and landscaping when he was only 14 and by the time he was 24 he worked full time at National Grid while simultaneously attending classes. Michael loved a good party, you always knew it was going to be a good night with Michael around. Michael brought joy to everything. Whether at a party or concert, he was front and center every time, usually with a Bud Light in hand, dancing signing or cheering on his little brothers at their baseball game. Michael traveled to different countries frequently, he jumped from a plane, dove off cliffs, rode motorcycles and lived his life to the very fullest. He was truly fearless.
Unfortunately on June 25, 2017 Michael was in a tragic jetski accident that would end his life. Five days later, on June 30, 2017 he succumbed to his injuries, leaving everyone who loved him shattered, stunned and in complete disbelief. Losing Michael left a hole in everyone’s heart.
In the wake of our heartache, from the moment Michael’s accident had happened, his friends all came together and stood by our side. From the early hours of the morning to the late hours of the night they never left our side at the hospital. They made sure we had everything we needed from food, to a shoulder to cry on. Together. An incredible bond was formed between a group of young men and women who just lost one of their closest friends and a broken hearted family who needed that love the most. These men really proved just how faithful they were. Vir Fidelis forever.
We knew we had to do something to honor the life of such an amazing young man that was only just getting started. Michael had dreams, he reached for the stars and he was going for them! For this reason, we decided to form a foundation in Michael’s memory to help give underprivileged children a chance to experience and play baseball as well as an opportunity to receive a private education. The Michael Francis Jr. Memorial Foundation will do just that. Michael’s family, friends and in collaboration with many others have built the strongest base for this foundation and we want to continue to build upon Michael’s legacy in the best way possible. We want the ensure everyone remembers the love of the game just as Michael did.