Tribute to Steve Francois – our favorite Santa

Just before Christmas, we lost someone who was a great friend to many of us, loving spouse to Sylvia, caring father to Sean, wonderful musician, and the best Santa to our grandchildren and many others. This fund is being set up to thank Steve and Sylvia for all they have given to us and to help pay for medical bills, funeral costs, and general expenses.

Steve passed away on December 21, 2022, after a valiant but grueling several-year battle against the ravages of diabetes -- the last year of which he had to spend entirely in healthcare facilities. Having already rehabilitated from open heart surgery, he now had to suffer through and then learn to cope with first one and then a second leg amputation and serious surgical complications. Never a small challenge, it was nothing short of miraculous when Steve learned to navigate short distances on his two prosthetic legs -- because he was also blind. Sight had been another major mainstay that diabetes stole from Steve, suddenly forcing him to close his specialty kitchen cabinetry refinishing business that -- along with sporadic gigs as folk musicians, and Santa gigs, of course, -- had long provided most of the couple's support.

Steve has fought so many physical battles in the last few years, all of them bravely, determinedly, and without complaining. Despite all his trials, he managed to touch so many people from so many different walks of life. Children's eyes lit up to see Santa enter the room! He had many interests and talents, and he explored them all! So many have described him as one of the kindest men they knew. The world was a better place because Steve was in it.

Steve's struggles are over now, he rests in peace. But Sylvia -- who herself spent weeks in the hospital this past year -- is left facing a mountain of medical bills and expenses that have already claimed their modest savings and their home, as well as burial expenses, while also searching for a small accessible and affordable apartment for herself and Bailey, the couple's yellow lab. Sylvia and Sean are grateful for all the love and support that have been shown to them and appreciate every person who has reached out or prayed for Steve. Any monetary help you can give will be most treasured in the true spirit of Christmas.

Donations (102)

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  • William C Hoglund
    • $25 
    • 8 mos
  • Gale Teschendorf
    • $300 
    • 8 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $25 
    • 8 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $91 
    • 9 mos
  • richard reedy
    • $50 
    • 9 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Jill Ballard
West Dundee, IL
Sylvia Francois

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