The Francis Family Foundation is actually a combination of two former foundations. Parker B. Francis, founder of the Puritan-Bennett Company, established a foundation bearing his name in 1951. Parker B. Francis III also established a foundation to fund his interests in education, arts, and culture. In 1989, the Parker B. Francis Foundation merged with the Parker B. Francis III Foundation to become the Francis Family Foundation. After retiring from Puritan Bennett as Chairman in 1986, John B. Francis — son of Parker B. Francis and brother of Parker B. Francis III — served as president of the Foundation until 1998. Mr. Francis was the Honorary Chair of the Foundation’s Board of Directors until his passing in August 2004. His wife, Mary Harris Francis, served on the board as honorary vice chair until her passing in May 2005.
The four children of John B. and Mary Harris Francis (Ann F. Barhoum, David V. Francis, J. Scott Francis and Susan F. Neves) served as the Executive Committee of the Foundation Board from 1998 until 2004, at which time the Board reorganized to better meet the needs of the new strategic plan.
Foundation priorities, such as the funding of the Parker B. Francis Fellowship Program, a national post-doctoral program in pulmonary research, and support of educational and cultural programs geographically located within the greater Kansas City area, still reflect the interests of the donors.
Locally the Foundation supports specific efforts to promote lifelong learning skills in children and specific areas within arts and culture. Please click on Our Priorities to learn more.