Francis Moul


A celebration of life for 82-year old Francis Moul of Lincoln will be held at a later date in Lincoln.

Francis was Vice President for Institutional Relations at Chadron State College and Executive Director of the Chadron State Foundation until retiring in 2001.

A private family burial is planned in the Fairmont, NE cemetery, next to his pioneer ancestors who came to Filmore County in 1872. 

The family asks that in lieu of flowers to please send memorials to the Jenny Fund at the Nebraska Community Foundation. 

Online condolences may be left at

A journalist, newspaper publisher, college instructor and administrator, author, avid reader and book reviewer, Francis Dean Moul was born on April 11, 1940 to Willis Francis (Snook) and Dorothy Dean Moul at York, NE. He died March 4, 2023 at the age of 82 at Lincoln. 

Francis graduated from Vermillion, SD, High School in 1958, and received a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in political science from the University of South Dakota at Vermillion in 1964 and 1966. 

He received his doctorate in environmental history from the University of Nebraska in 1998 and a Fulbright Scholarship to India at the University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, in 1966. 

Francis’s journalism endeavors included the Sioux City Journal, Boone News Republican and editorial writer at the Des Moines Register and Tribune. He was an instructor in political science at Wayne State College and was founder, CEO and Publisher of the Journal-Democrat and the Maverick Media Inc printing and publishing firm, both in Syracuse, NE.

Francis was also proprietor of an antiquarian bookstore and art gallery in Lincoln, a development officer for the Nebraska Community Foundation, and Vice President for Institutional Relations at Chadron State College and Executive Director of the Chadron State Foundation, retiring in 2001.

Francis was a busy writer. His book on the National Grasslands was published by the University of Nebraska Press in 2006, and he wrote numerous articles for Nebraska publications, primarily on environmental issues.

He also wrote hundreds of book reviews for the Lincoln Journal Star, Des Moines Register, Omaha World-Herald, and other newspapers and magazines.

He received numerous writing and publishing awards, including the James C Sellers Award for best article in Nebraska History magazine and the 2007 Nebraska Center for the Book Best Nonfiction Award for his book the National Grasslands.

Francis was a charter founder, director, president and volunteer executive director for the Nebraska Wildlife Federation and president of numerous organizations in Syracuse and Southeast Nebraska.

On the political side, he was president of Nebraskans for Peace, first associate chair of the Nebraska Democratic Party, and a member of the Democratic National Committee.

Francis married Mary McVay, who died at the age of 25 in 1966. Their daughter, Jennifer, was adopted by his second wife, Maxine Burnett (married on April 20, 1972), and they had a son, Jeff. Jennifer died in an automobile accident in 1985 at the age of 19.

Maxine would later serve as the first female Lt Governor of Nebraska, director of the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, and USDA Rural Development Director for Nebraska.

Francis is survived by his wife Maxine, of Lincoln; son Jeff (Diane Becket) and children Adia, Annalise and Logan of Rapid City, SD; son Bogart (Donna) Nomad and sons Nik and Zak of Elkhorn, NE; brother John Moul of Boone, IA; sister Judi Leonard of San Jose, CA; sisters-in-law Karlene Moomey of Elwell, MI, Kris Johnson of Lyons, NE, and Mary Thomas of San Antonio, TX; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his wife Mary; daughter Jennifer; parents Willis Francis and Dorothy Dean Moul; sisters Miriam Moul and Maxine Carey; mother-in-law Gen McVay; and father- and mother-in-law Einer and Eva Burnett.