MARIETTA - Anyone who knew Ron Francis, 71, the former chairman of First Landmark Bank, said he loved two things most in his life - his work as a banker and his golf.
Francis, a past recipient of the Citizen of Marietta award in 2004 and the 2015 James L. Rhoden Award for Visionary Philanthropy, died Wednesday of pulmonary fibrosis.
Barfield, who was president of Cobb Exchange Bank in Marietta, hired Ron Francis as a loan officer in 1973.
When Cobb Exchange Bank was bought out by an investor in 1983, Barfield said Francis went on to achieve great success in the banking world.
Francis started and was the CEO at three banks: Chattahoochee Bank, Charter Bank, and most recently, First Landmark Bank.
In 2002, former Marietta Mayor Bill Dunaway said he
asked Ron Francis
to loan him money to start a restaurant called 1848 House.
financed me for the restaurant.
"The only downside of Ron
was that he
was a big Florida Gators fan.
Francis retired in 2014 after a 43-year banking career.
Service in community
Community leaders said Francis
was an honest and loyal man who served Marietta well during the more than 40 years he
Ron Francis was born in Chicago in 1944 and graduated from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, with a bachelor's degree in sociology in 1965.
He later graduated from Georgia State University with a master's degree in finance in 1972.
He was a first generation American born to Scottish parents.