Death of former ABS News reporter Debbie Francis leaves co-workers and friends in shock and disbelief
The media fraternity and her former place of work are mourning the death of Debbie Francis, who is being described as a gentle soul.
Francis was Public Relations Officer for the Ministry of Agriculture, and her passing on the weekend shocked colleagues, including Minister Samantha Marshall.
Sources say she was ailing and sought attention at the Sir Lester Bird Medical Centre on Saturday. However, relatives reported early Sunday morning that she had passed, apparently overnight. The circumstances of her death have not been officially confirmed.
Francis began her career as a news reporter at the Antigua and Barbuda Broadcasting Station (ABS) in the 1980s, when the media house was located at Radio Range.
She worked at the radio station and later was elevated to coverage for the TV station. Along the way, she copped a number of Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) awards for her work in health journalism.
Francis also served in a number of other Government departments, including the Ministry of Health, where she worked in a similar public-relations capacity.
Her former co-workers at that Ministry were also rattled by her untimely passing.
Francis, who hails from Potters Village, has been described as a motivator; a person who was always upbeat and willing to assist; and a team player.
She leaves to mourn a daughter and other relatives.