Joseph Francis "Francie" Cozzens


(December 28, 2002)

Funeral services will be conducted Thursday, Jan. 2 at 10 a.m. at the Powell LDS Church for Joseph Francis (Francie) Cozzens, 83, who died Saturday, Dec. 28 at the Powell Nursing Home where he had been a resident for the last three months.

He was born in a log cabin in Byron on Aug. 3, 1919, to Joseph and Bertha (Fawcett) Cozzens. While growing up, he helped herd sheep for his father on Heart Mountain and in the Beartooth Mountains.

He graduated in 1937 from Powell High School where he was FFA president and the first twirling drum major.

In 1938, he completed training at Aero Industries Technical Institute in California, then worked at Douglas Aircraft in Santa Monica. He helped build the wings on the first DC3 airplane, then a top secret aircraft which later became famous as the Goony Bird.

In 1940, he returned to Wyoming and married his high school sweetheart, Beula Fay Good, on Dec. 15, 1940. They were sealed in the Idaho Falls Temple in 1966.

Fancis and Beula Fay began farming on the Joe Cozzens place, living in a two-room house with no electricity or water. In 1946, they moved with their three children to Bellflower, Calif., where he worked as a crankshaft grinder. In 1947, they returned to Powell, and he brought with him the first crankshaft grinding machine in this region. He rented a stall at Althoff Motors and ground crankshafts.

In 1949, he and his brother, Mel, formed a partnership, purchased the Chrysler-Plymouth dealership from Ed Althoff, and renamed it Cozzens Motors. After 22 years, Francis sold his share of the business to his brother and became a police officer where he was affectionately known as "Cuzz d' Fuzz." He retired from the Powell police force in 1984.

He was an avid fly fisherman. He enjoyed writing poetry, telling stories and making humorous gadgets and string art. He loved public speaking and was a member of Powell Toastmasters for several years.

He had a great love for all children, but particularly his children and grandchildren.

He was a devoted member of the LDS Church and served as Primary and Sunday School teacher, dance director and guide at the Cody Murals. He and Beula Fay published the ward newsletter, and in 1993 they served a mission in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Francis and Beula Fay Cozzens were lifelong friends with Earl and Opal Jones and raised their families close together. For many years, they spent several summer weeks camping and fishing in the Beartooth Mountains with their base camp at Island Lake.

Survivors include a daughter, Carol Thornberry and husband Dorn of Portland, Ore.; two sons, Melvin Cozzens of Denver and Saudi Arabia and Donnie Cozzens and wife Teri of Powell; his grandchildren, Tad (Colleen) Thornberry, Tanya (Bob) Atkins, Terri (Rick) Weberg, Kara (Ed) Edwards, Karissa Cozzens and Molly Cozzens; and 12 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by sister Olive (Charles) Hawkins in the Powell Nursing Home; brothers Mel (Betty) Cozzens of Cody, John (Minnie) Cozzens and Matt (Vesa) Cozzens, both of Powell; brother-in-law Dale (Jeanie) Good of Cody; sisters-in-law Lucy Cozzens and Deloris Good, both of Powell, and Sarah Good of Casper; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Beula Fay in 1998; his parents; brother Fred Cozzens; granddaughter Kim (Michael) Bertagnole; great-granddaughter Kendra Edwards; and brothers-in-law Ernie and Irvin Good.

Memorials may be made to Powell Valley Hospice or a charity of choice.

Burial will be in Powell's Crown Hill Cemetery. Miratsky-Easton Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.