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Books from David Francis

David Francis is the award-winning author of Bringing Jon Home about the search for his 24-year-old son, Jon, who went missing in 2006 while climbing The Grand Mogul in the Sawtooth Mountains of Central Idaho. A retired US Navy Captain (nuclear submarine service), businessman and adjunct business professor, Francis is executive director of the Jon Francis Foundation, dedicated to saving lives through wilderness safety education and empowering families who have suffered the loss of an adult loved one in the wilderness.

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Latest Book by David Francis

“My deeply personal and highly interesting story of my long naval service. In Bluejacket, I describe my journey: the ups and the downs (an old submarine joke), nuclear submarine service, struggles, achievements, lessons learned, loneliness, love, and sweet homecomings. Prepare to dive.”

- David Francis, Captain, USNR (Retired)


“Life is simple—either you’re qualified or you’re not!”

The Story:


This is my deeply personal and highly interesting story of my long naval service.
“The Cold War was my war.”  In Bluejacket I describe my journey: the ups and the
downs (an old submarine joke), sea duty aboard nuclear submarines, struggles,
achievements, love, lessons learned, lonely separations, and sweet homecomings. 
Prepare to dive.


Some Excerpts


By the Inland Sea

I grew up on the shore of Lake Huron. The Great Lakes surrounded me. To our north were the straits of Mackinac where Huron meets Lake Michigan. Above Michigan’s upper peninsula was the big lake they called Gitche Gumee, Lake Superior, with its countless lighthouses, lakes, bays, islands, and rivers—Great Waters as far as the eye can see.”


A Collision at Sea will ruin your day


The North Atlantic Ocean. “The Soviet ship continued to play ‘chicken’ with us. Several sailors on her deck were smiling, waving at me, and taking photographs. In my mind, I imagined a weathered face, seasoned Russian captain looking at me through his binoculars, laughing, and saying to his helmsman, ‘There’s a kid driving that submarine.’”


The Home Fires


“As the wife of a seagoing sailor, Linda proved to be what was commonly referred to and prized as a ‘good Navy wife.’ This is not a title of condescension, but of high praise. She kept the home fires burning. She was amazing at managing the house and money, raising our children, mostly alone, and tolerating a returning, grumpy, smelly, submarine sailor.”


   -    David Francis


“If we did not love, we would not grieve. But love we do. Grief is the bleeding heart of love. Closure is a myth. Closure is for bank accounts, not love accounts. However, through our grief work, we can arrive at some resolution to the trauma caused by our loss.”

Grief Travelers: Learning to Live and Love Again after Loss.

The death in the wilderness of his son, Jon, drove David Francis into deep darkness and despair. Brought to his knees and broken by depression and trauma, he suddenly belonged to a club that no one chooses to join. Francis began the long and painful journey of a grief traveler. In an effort to live and to love again, Francis became a reluctant but dedicated student of loss. Grief Travelers shares his insights along with the wisdom of grief professionals and the stories of others who must walk through the Valley of Grief. He provides the roadmap he followed from sorrow and mourning to eventual healing and recovery, and he offers hope and guidance to others. Acknowledging that grieving is a personal and often unpredictable experience, sharing his personal journey is intended to comfort and empower fellow grief travelers as well as support healthcare practitioners, clergy, and counselors in their mission to listen and to heal.

Praise for Grief Travelers

“David Francis tells us his story of traveling and carrying grief and what he has learned from it. He shares the final end of his journey; faith, hope, love, and gratitude. I recommend this book to all who experience the pain and grief of our world. May all who read it find hope and grace in their loss.”

—The Rev. Dr. Jerry C. Doherty, Episcopal priest and author of The Celtic Model of Ministry

Grief Travelers by David Francis has the authenticity of one who has been on a long and arduous grief journey himself . . . In service to other families, David Francis has been a saving grace.”

—Alla Renee Bozarth, PhD, author of Life is Goodbye Life is Hello: Grieving Well through All Kinds of Loss.


An Award Winning, Inspirational Memoir
about the life, loss and legacy of a remarkable young man.


Author signed hard copies of this Award Winning Memoir are still available.

Contact David at

Bringing Jon Home

Bringing Jon Home -The Wilderness Search for Jon Francis, is a national and regional award winning, inspirational memoir.


Bringing Jon Home earned Silver Finalist for inspirational writing from the Midwest Publisher’s Association and National Finalist, in the memoir category, from The National Indie Book Awards. 


The awards are a fitting tribute to Jon Francis.  His inspiring life and works made it so. 


Praise for Bringing Jon Home  

“This is an amazing story of love and commitment honoring the promise that we make to our children — ‘I’ll always be here for you.’  David captures brilliantly the many stages of the search, of their grief and of their process of remembering. I wish I had met Jon. This book allows me to meet him and live my life a little deeper because of knowing him. Thank you, David.” 

Foreword by Patty Wetterling, Children’s Safety Advocate, Jacob Wetterling Resource Center.

A Riveting Read” – Mary Ann Grossmann, St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Excellent, compelling story. Every parent should read…especially fathers.”  -Midwest Publisher’s Association.

“Your book is beautifully structured and written, each word glowing with sorrow and faith and love, a father's true testament of his son.” ---The Reverend Dr. Alla Renee Bozarth,  Author of Life is Goodbye, Life is Hello.

“A father turns the tragedy of losing a loving son on a far-away mountaintop into a story of family, friends, strangers, communities all coming together to search and, ultimately, to embrace each other. This book becomes a reminder that none of us knows what tomorrow brings. But it also reminds us to appreciate the basic goodness around us – and to never forget to hug our kids.”   — Doug Grow, writer, MinnPost.

"Bringing Jon Home is a powerful story about loss, unconditional love and human resilience inside one American family."   — Chuck Logan, author of Absolute Zero.

"Bringing Jon Home--a real page-turner, David, you've done a remarkable thing for Jon's legacy by not only capturing his giving, involved life, but offering his story as inspiration for other families.   As a dad myself I marvel at your resilience and strength. Your words are driven by the power of your emotion.   I can feel it on every page.” — Kevin Giles, Writer, Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Sales of Jon’s memoir benefit the vital and unique mission of the Jon Francis Foundation.  An Advocate for wilderness safety and missing adults.

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