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Francis Joseph Behal of 592 Lovers Lane in Mathews, was called home by the Lord on July 18, 2015, surrounded by his loving family.  

He was born Oct. 10, 1931 in Yoakum County, Texas, to Robert William Behal and Anita Hoffman Behal. Francis attended public school in Smithville, Texas. He received his bachelor of science degree from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. in 1953, and his master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Texas in Austin in 1958. While at the University of Texas, Francis met his future wife, Grace Cumming, and they were married in Virginia in 1955.

Francis and Grace lived in Austin, Augusta, Ga., and Lubbock, Texas, before moving to Mathews in 2000. Before retiring and moving to Mathews, Francis had a productive career as biochemical research scientist and professor at the Medical College of Georgia and later at Texas Tech University School of Medicine. During his time in Mathews, Francis enjoyed working as a deputy in the Mathews County Sheriff’s Office. He was a member of St. Francis de Sales Church in Mathews.

Francis was predeceased by his wife Grace in 2005. He is survived by his son, Robert Hamilton Behal and wife Carol Casavant of Troy, Idaho; his daughter, Mary E. Horn and husband Ralph of Mathews; three grandchildren, Eric Wane McFadden and wife Kim of Richmond, Va., Marguerite Nicole Johnson and husband Daniel of Mount Pleasant, S.C., and Candice Elaine Anderson and husband James of Bristol, Va., and two great-grandchildren, Ethan Matthew and Wesley Grant McFadden of Richmond, Va.  

The Mass of the Resurrection was celebrated for Francis at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 22 at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Mathews on Lovers Lane. Visitation was held one hour before the service. Burial followed the service at the cemetery of the Church of the Visitation in Hartfield. Father James Cowles, pastor of St. Therese, officiated.

In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests contributions in Francis’s memory to the St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church Building Fund, 176 Lovers Lane, Mathews, Va. 23109.

Foster-Faulkner Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.