Local WWII navy veteran passes away days after turning 101

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Leonard Francis, a local navy veteran who recently turned 101 years old, has passed away.

Francis served in the US navy during WWII as a gunner on the USS Ludlow.

17News profiled Francis back in 2017 when he turned 100 years old. The avid golfer and softball player enjoyed time with familyboth by blood and by battle.

After the navy, Francis returned to Kern County where he married his sweetheart, Mary Katherine. The two were married for 76 years before she passed away in 2017.

Gunner told 17News that the secret to longevity was to “keep out of trouble” and “don’t smoke.”

Francis passed away peacefully in his sleep, according to a post on Kern County Honor Flight’s Facebook.

Francis’ family has planned a rosary for Wednesday, Jan. 9 at Christ The King in Bakersfield. A funeral will follow at 10 a.m. Military honors and service is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Bakersfield National Cemetery.

[RELATED: WWII veteran to celebrate 100th birthday]

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