Boston — Edwin Lopes Francis, 95, professor of Romance languages at Salem State College, passed away July 20, 2013. He was born in Boa Vista, Cape Verde, on January 1, 1918, and was the son of the late John Lopes Francis and Augusta (Evora). Edwin was raised in East Boston and attended East Boston High School, graduating in 1935, receiving their Cudworth Prize for Excellence in English. He was active in local community theater groups. Edwin pursued music studies at the New England Conservatory of Music in the Artist’s Diploma Major in piano as a pupil of the late Julius Chaloff. In 1942, he was drafted by the U.S. Army and served overseas in Italy. After the war, he majored in Romance languages and French and Portugese literature at Harvard College and graduated in 1949, Magna Cum Laude, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He continued in the graduate school, earning a master's and pursuing studies for his doctorate degree in Romance languages.
Edwin’s teaching career began in the Boston Public Schools at the former Girls High School and in 1956, he was appointed as instructor at Salem Teachers College and was active in the transformation of the school into Salem State College. At the college, he developed the Department of Foreign Languages, and at the same time, he taught English and American literature. In 1968, as a member of an ad hoc committee, it was his proposal for a general education curriculum which is still the requirement for all degrees at the college. In 1992, Edwin retired and traveled extensively, returning to his beloved Cape Verde Islands in 1995.
He is survived by nephews and nieces, Edward Francis Jr. of Medford, Donna Sealey of Medford, Deborah Francis of Brooklyn, N.Y., Elliot Francis of Maryland, Robin Jackson of Corona, Calif., and Dale Francis of Hyde Park.
ARRANGEMENTS: A visitation will be held in the Boston Harborside Home, 580 Commercial St., Boston, on Friday, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Entombment will follow in Holy Cross Mausoleum, Malden.
Boston Harborside Home of J.S. Waterman & Sons- Langone. www.bostonharborsidehome.com.