Francis Edward Eslinger

Published 7:38 pm Monday, January 13, 2020

Francis Edward Eslinger, 85, of Columbus, Georgia, died Jan. 9, 2020, at Columbus Hospice House in Columbus, Georgia. Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020, at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 2100 Hilton Avenue, Columbus, Georgia 31906. Visitation with follow the services at the church according to McMullen Funeral Home and Crematory, 3874 Gentian Blvd., Columbus, Georgia 31907.

Francis was born Sept. 18, 1934, in Bamberg, South Carolina, son of the late Edward C. Eslinger and Maggie Lee Sandifer Eslinger but was raised by his late grandparents Carl and Bessie James. Frank graduated from Bamberg High School where he played basketball and made All-Stars, two years All-American senior, voted #1 of 500 best basketball players in the nation by Parade magazine. He joined the US Air Force after graduation, serving from 1954 to 1958, at Turner Air Force Base in Albany, Georgia, where he played basketball. After being discharged from the service he moved to Columbus, Georgia, becoming one of the first students at the Columbus Junior College in 1958, where he played on their first basketball team. He also played tennis where he won many state, region and sectional tournaments.

He was the oldest Columbus College basketball alumni transferring to Auburn University with a degree in psychology. He was director of South Columbus Boys Club while attending school. He was an Associate Juvenile Judge for Muscogee County for over 32 years and retired in 1997. He also owned Frank’s Trophy and Plaques for 24 years. He was an avid fisherman, hunter and full of many jokes.

He was preceded in death by his brother Charles Smith. Survivors include his son Francis Edward Eslinger, Jr. (Rhonda) of LaGrange, grandson Trey Eslinger, III of LaGrange, great granddaughter Emma Francis Eslinger of LaGrange, sister Jeanne Arlys (Thomas) of Nelsonville, Ohio, devoted partner and friend of 22 years, Jan Pittman and her daughters Alexis Williams (John) of Greensboro, North Carolina, Daphne Masters (Shawn) of Warner Robins, Georgia, and many nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers contributions may be sent to Columbus Hospice, 7020 Moon Road Columbus, Georgia 31909 or to St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 2100 Hilton Avenue Columbus, Georgia 31906.

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