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In loving memory of Fran

In loving memory of Fran.

A friend, a colleague, a gentleman and a true Viconite, who will be greatly missed by all.

Please use this page to share your memories of Fran.



Mark Finch
3 years ago
Fran was such a lovely man and was always a friendly face around the office - it was an honour to have known him.
Much love to Yvonne and the family. xx
Chris Crosskey
3 years ago
I feel I was privileged to have known Fran, in the last few years at Vicon. I feel I learned so much from him, and he was ALWAYS willing to help you learn how to do things that to him must have seemed simple. A true gent, my sincerest condolences for your loss.
Chris Cox
3 years ago
A lovely man, ready to help anyone, and always would with a smile!
Jamie Newell
3 years ago
Fran was such a kind hearted gentleman with such care for others. I always enjoyed the stories, knowledge and humor he shared. He will be dearly missed. My thoughts and heartfelt condolences to Yvonne, Jay and family.
Dami Phillips
3 years ago
True lovely gentleman, ever friendly and always approachable.
You will be sorely missed, Fran.
My heartfelt condolences to Yvonne and the rest of the family
Louise Rendle
3 years ago
I will always be grateful to Fran for the help and advice he gave me from my very early days with Vicon, working alongside him in Production from 15 years ago. If I ever needed any advice or someone to Brian storm a problem with, he was always willing to help. There are few products in Production that Fran has not had a hand in helping develop some sort of test facility for, from Bonita strobe testing to ViperX image test fixture. No problem was beyond him despite Vicon’s challenges such as Revue or Apex. But his help did not stop with work, he was always willing to help fix something you might have broken or wore out to give it a new lease of life. He seemed to thrive on the challenge of making something work and was glad to have been of help.
I loved his approach to life, always so helpful, kind, courteous and good humoured. Such a charming Gentleman always full of life stories or experiences to share. I shall always remember him as “the man that can”.
I am very grateful to have met such a lovely character. I will miss him greatly and remember him always.
Love and condolences to Jay, Yvonne and the family. Xx
Mark Andrews
3 years ago
It was a pleasure to have met such a gentleman, Fran's smile always lit up the room!

My thoughts are with Yvonne, Jay & the rest of the family. x
aouatif lafou
3 years ago
I met Fran many years ago while i was still at uni. Fran was a father figure to me hence why i always felt the need to call him uncle.
He was always so find and helpful i could turn to him for anything.
I will miss our little chats and all the stories you would tell me about your life experiences. Vicon will not be the same without you.
I will dearly miss you uncle.
James Redpath
3 years ago
It was an honour and privilege to work with you Fran. You had a wonderful sense of humour and a can do attitude to work I always enjoyed working with you over the years. If I needed a prototype done, I could always rely on you to get it done quickly! Your sense of compassion and interest in others always shone through.
My thoughts and condolences go out to Yvonne, Jay and the rest of your family.
Josh Bailey
3 years ago
Fran was a constant source of positivity for as long as I've been at Vicon. Always happy to help no matter the request, and always happy to pass on his (very vast!) knowledge. He taught me so much since I've been here and I always enjoyed listening to his stories about his younger years in South Africa. He was always happy and smiling, and that's how I'll remember him.
Love to Yvonne, Jay and family.
3 years ago
Great and lovely man with all technical solution , we are already missing you
My thoughts are with Yvonne, Jay & the rest of the family.
Michael Trafford
3 years ago
Fran was a kind, helpful and very knowledgeable person, and it was an honour to of worked with him.
He was always happy to give advice and help on any problems that arose, especially any mechanical ones, and i learned alot from him.
My thoughts and condolences to Yvonne , Jay and family x
3 years ago
Fran- a fruitful life.

Fran- Its almost 15 years now I met you first-time!
I always think about your +ve attitude towards life which was on you when we met last time around Christmas 2020 when you visited Vicon.
You were very weak, but it was the same you, with your signature charm and gentleness!

Do you remember ?- on the very first week we met, you sang a poem for me, “ There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly”.
I thought you just made it as I never heard it before and I was so fascinated, then you printed the lyrics for me- You were my first friend @ Vicon!!

Do you remember ? – Whenever I ran to you to get some urgent assemblies done for imminent shipments, you look @ me bit crossed- then with laugh always say “ Jake I will kill a bull for you!!”

On every occasion I took a tool from your possession – I always made sure I returned to you within the permitted time ( which my parents could never get me done ) as I know how much you value your work and your tools and I never wanted to make you unhappy with me ?

I believe from my tradition that you had a very fruitful life, you have seen a lot, loved and been loved by so many , you were active till the very end and now leaving a heap of cherished memories with us!!

Take rest Fran,( not sure as you would the key mender @ heaven now, you would be saying “ God, leave it with me, I will have a look “)

My thoughts are with Jay, Yvonne and her siblings.

PS: Why I am still expecting the “Orange Nissan Note “ coming to my window , waving at me to open the door for the assemblies you made while WFH.
3 years ago
I met Fran when I was around 30, I had just moved to the UK from a different country, and I still remember his nice words, his gentle way of making sure I was doing all right and I didn't miss my loved ones too much. I have always taken those images and words with me, and guarded them very jealously. They have been precious, and still are.
My thoughts to Yvonne and the whole family.
Paul Smyth
3 years ago
Thank you Fran - over the years I've had countless situations where I've wandered over to Fran to ask advice on where to start with a tricky (to me) mechanical problem, and have come away not just with a simpler solution to the problem at hand than I would have thought of, but with a smile on my face from the bonus anecdotes and commentary!
Love and condolences to Yvonne and all the family.
Juliette Griffiths
3 years ago
Where to start....
Fran started before I did (Jan 2007), so he was well settled in when I joined Vicon in Oct 2008. He already had a great reputation for being "Mr Fix It!" He came from a background working with radio for the police in Southern Africa. He also enjoyed TV repair – the old valve type. I can remember the area he occupied in the Botley office – almost every tool, component or fastener accessible within the swing of his chair. I always admired how Fran was confident in both the electronic and mechanical fields. There was little that he could not make or fix. He could create complex jigs or test boards or prototypes, just from people’s descriptions or “fag packet” drawings. Plus, on top of all this, he was the “go to” person for spectacle repair, door mechanisms, car electrics troubleshooting…. the list goes on. Fran seemed to relish the challenge. He was always pleased when someone provided a new problem for him to overcome. I’m sure Fran found the regular camera build a drudge after pulling so many rabbits out of hats, but he was always willing to do whatever was needed.
I miss him, his kindness and the calm reassurance of having him around. Much love to Jay, Yvonne and family.
3 years ago
Dear Fran - For obvious reasons, I heard a little late that you’ve left us but I’ve really enjoyed reading the warmth and admiration your many friends have expressed. There are two things I want to add. You were a key contributor to the success of the business. Almost anyone with a tricky problem to solve, or a widget to build, would consult you and ask for your help, knowing you would come back with a potential solution. The other memory we all have is of the African caucus in the canteen as you and Remy put the world to rights. Thank you.
Phil Pritchett
3 years ago
I feel very lucky to have met and worked with Fran on a project some years ago and seen his skill and knowledge at first hand.
It was always a pleasure to bump into him around the office and he would always stop for a chat.
I've lost count of the times he went out of his way to fix something for me. His patience, humour and kindness made him a very special person, and he will be sorely missed.
Deepest condolences to Yvonne and the whole family.
Cathy Robertson
3 years ago
Fran was a man of so many parts. Clever - he could fix anything. Kind - he would fix anything, for anyone. Warm - lovely to talk to about this and that, or anything. Good-humoured - I never saw him flap or fuss, nothing phased him. Brave - so brave in the face of what he knew was coming. Stoical - he just kept going, no complaints. He was a very dear colleague, and a wonderful man, and I will miss him more than I can say.
Miles Beattie
3 years ago
Fran was such a great man and inspriation, guide and fount of knowledge.
From the first day I meet him my learning began and he continued to teach me skills and help where my knowledge was lacking.
I used to think of him as my work grandad - the stories he told, the wisdom he imparted was indicitive of my own grandparents.
I was always in awe of the jigs he had created, the craftmanship and level of skill involved was second to none and I always aspired to meet his standards.
A true friend to all who met him.
You will be sorely missed and are certainly irriplacable.
My deepest condonlences to Jay, Yvonne and all the family.
Kim Duffy
3 years ago
Fran was such an amazing colleague and was the first person I met in Production. So helpful, patient and friendly and we always had interesting conversations. I always enjoyed going to visit Fran in Production and seeing him assemble a tool/cable I needed, including fixing the sole of my shoes. Fran had time for everyone and always made the effort in stopping to talk and ask how you were. He will be sorely missed and my thoughts are with Yvonne and the rest of the family.
Amanda Hodgkins
3 years ago
Dear Fran. You will be so very missed by all of us. From the day I joined Vicon you were welcoming. Always the gentleman and always interested in everyone around you including myself. Always positive and full of stories and I will treasure the memory of listening to them whilst making coffee. I send my very best wishes to the entire family. Please know that Fran has truly left his mark on all who had the pleasure of meeting him and that remains. His kindness touched us all and thus he was loved and will always be remembered.
Sarah Tildesley
3 years ago
Was a pleasure to have met such a lovely man, my heartfelt condolences go out to Yvonne and the family.
Simon Walls
3 years ago
Fran, it’s been said a lot for good reason; you were a true gentleman. You will be dearly missed but I will carry your advice and guidance with me for many years to come. Thank you for your help, wisdom, stories and genuine care for those around you, all of which touched all corners of Vicon and beyond. My heartfelt condolences go out to Yvonne and the family.
Chris Skepper
3 years ago
I will miss the many interesting conversations we had at break times, as well as his help and expertise of course. My condolences to Yvonne and the family.
Derek Potter
3 years ago
I had the pleasure to work with Fran for many years. I was so sorry to hear about his passing last week. Fran was hardworking, inventive and had such a broad range of knowledge across so many aspects of engineering and electronics. Fran was the person that you could always count on for getting a special project done and done right. The pride he took in his work was obvious. However, what I will miss most are conversations with him in the hallway or the lunch room. When Fran asked how you were, he actually wanted to know; he was kind. Others have used the term True Gentleman and I can't think apt description. He always struck me as a bit of renaissance man with a wonderful pallet of life experiences which is why it was also so enjoyable to speak to him. His deep love for family was evident. I will miss him.
Luke May
3 years ago
Fran was an amazing man! We had many conversations over the years about planes and South Africa, etc, I even spent a day under his wing learning about how to put together a Vero!
But when you spend that much time with Fran you start to figure out that there is just something about him that demands respect even without saying anything, just the way he carried himself, hands behind his back, standing with perfect posture at 80! He was like one of those wise elders you see in movies and I just couldn't help but admire him. And if that wasn't enough he would throw that big old kind heart of his in your face and fix a broken toy figure you had on your desk without batting an eyelid, because that's just Fran and the reason I had no choice but to buy him a South African plane for my first Christmas at Vicon.

Yvonne and family, I am truly sorry for your loss, if this is the pain I'm feeling I can't even begin to imagine yours, but I hope my memory of him can help fill even a little bit of the void that has now been left behind.
All my love.
Tim Doubleday
3 years ago
I always looked forwards to my interactions with Fran, whether it be a work task due to a faulty Cara Logger or hardware idea me or a customer may have had, but also just to check in and make sure everything was well on a person level. This normally took place in the canteen over a coffee and a copy of the Metro. He always gave you his honest opinion and was hugely knowledgeable without making you feel small or stupid which was often the case with some of my hair brained ideas! He will be sorely missed, a one of kind spirit . Such a shame we didn't get to see more of him over the last year. Love to Yvonne and the family.
Jose Araujo
3 years ago
Thank you Fran for being so kind, it was an honour to have met such a gentleman.
My condolences to the family.
Moira Blackman
3 years ago
Thank you Fran for always being so friendly, kind and supportive. Over the years, it was always a comfort to know that I could ask Fran for his help, knowing that he would use his knowledge, skills and unending patience to repair whatever broken item I presented him with, on so many occasions. He was such a delightful raconteur and his stories were full of interest and often amusing, he will be sadly missed by us all. My thoughts are with Yvonne, Jay and all the family.
Nick Japhtha
3 years ago
Fran jy was'n regte heer. Droom rustig en rus.Yvonne en familie, my innige simpatie.
Ben Freeman
3 years ago
Fran, you were a font of quiet humour, common sense, practical ability, hard won experience and interesting stories of past endeavours, and you will be sorely missed.
My condolences to Yvonne and the family.
Andy Ray
3 years ago
The steady hand to any scenario faced, the ability to find optimism on tough scenarios with a humour that just brightened the room he was in, are the traits of Fran that will live with me forever more.

If I can take any of those traits with me and serve onto my own children, they will be well served.

My deep-felt condolences and best wishes to his bereaved family.
3 years ago
Fascinating chap with such broad life experience. Always ready for the challenge of finding a solution, a fab mechanical mind. A true gentleman that is sorely missed. My thoughts are with Jay, Yvonne, Syrus, and the rest of the family.
Tina Holland
3 years ago
It is an honour to have known Fran. He was a true gentleman and an inspiration to us all. I love his stories that he would share, and all the advice he would give. Some things I will never forget.
My thoughts are with Jay, Yvonne and all the family xx
Bob Dimmock
3 years ago
Fran was such an amazing colleague. So helpful, patient, friendly and always interesting in conversation, especially about experiences in his life. I always enjoyed going to visit Fran in Production, especially in Botley where you would find classical music playing in his corner.

There were many times when I would take something mechanical to Fran as I knew he would know how to fix it and extend its useful life. He would always gladly help, find exactly the tools required and use the opportunity to teach you something at the same time. It felt really like a father-son experience and we would fix it together sometimes.. I never again want to unwind a Manfrotto tripod all the way so the little bits inside fall out, but I’m thankful for the lesson learned and the experience with Fran putting it back together again!

He will be sorely missed and my thoughts go out to Yvonne and his whole family.
Peter West.
3 years ago
A man of almost unfailing good humour, old-fashioned courtesy and genuine concern for others, no matter what his own worries. Industrious and ready to tackle any job you could throw at him - a great colleague. I'll miss him, if only because he was one a the few people in Vicon older than me!
My condolences to the family.
Emma Colven
3 years ago
Such a gentleman who will be sorely missed. My thoughts are with Yvonne and the family xxx
Martin Stone
3 years ago
My abiding memory is of Fran's friendliness and approachability. He was always ready to have a chat over a cup of coffee or share some memories of his long and interesting life. He will be very much missed - my thoughts are with you, Yvonne and family.
Tom Shannon
3 years ago
Memories of Fran
I think it must be just over 14 years ago that we had a short term vacancy for a storeman-packer. This was the first time I met Fran as a temporary contractor but it became very quickly apparent that he had skills and an attitude to problem solving that extended far beyond the tasks we were asking him to undertake. We were privileged to employ him as a production technician exactly fourteen years ago today and of course he rapidly grew into the role together with becoming an immensely useful 'prototyper'. I knew he had seen service as a communications expert in challenging times, so knew he would be aware of the truth observed by von Clausewitz in 19th Century that “no plan survives first contact with the enemy”. The same thought applies equally to technology in the field where in the face of total uncertainty a ‘make do and mend’ and ‘can-do’ attitude with lateral thinking and wit quickly become very essential and highly valued personal skills.
In around 2010, I remember that Nick Bolton gave me a very tricky optics problem to try and overcome a conundrum with the new OMG Life Autographer where we wanted to place a very wide angle fish-eye lens behind a manual, brightly coloured shutter within a rotating knob. The idea was to indicate to others sensitive about their privacy if the product was capturing images or not and at the same time to have the capability to view as much of a scene as technically possible. The problem was that the presence of the knob would seriously degrade the image around the edges as it was always potentially obscuring the lens. Many drawings, sketches and math were calculated to try and solve the problem with eventually a theoretical solution proposed but I needed to prove it. Of course I went to Fran to create a model of my idea and the next day he returned with a most beautiful piece of machined plastic that looked a bit like a Greek or Roman amphitheatre. We put it in front of the lens and the image was perfect! His clever physical design was eventually implemented in the product.
In a company filled to the rafters with very, very clever and talented people, Fran was one of the cleverest and most talented persons I have ever met. He will be greatly missed by me and all of his many friends and colleagues, our solace is that his was a life well spent.
My thoughts are with Yvonne, Jay and the family.
Lorna Turner
3 years ago
I am delighted to have known such a kind and gentle man. Always willing to help and always with a smile. Rest with the angels Fran. Love and condolences to Yvonne and the family. xx
Imogen Moorhouse
3 years ago
Thank you Fran for your enormous contribution to Vicon.
Your innate ability to turn rough into diamond (Revue) and always saying "I'll give it a try" when presented with (yet) another engineering/assembly challenge!
We will all miss you very much.
My thoughts are with Yvonne, Jay & the rest of the family.
Anna Morris
3 years ago
An honour to have met such a lovely man. What a gent!
His positivity should be an inspiration to us all.
Much love to Yvonne and family. X

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