Francis F. Kingsley, Jr., trusted accounting advisor for over 50 years to the Venture Capital community and a beloved Trustee Emeritus of Bentley University passed away on Thursday, April 9, 2020 after a long illness. Fran devoted his life to being ever-present for his family, friends, clients and peers. If you had a problem, Fran was always there to help you solve it.
Fran grew up in Quincy, MA the son of Francis F. Kingsley, Sr and Dorothy Newson Kingsley and his younger brother James Richard “Dick” Kingsley. Lovingly known growing up as “Sonny” to his family he attended Thayer Academy ’54 and the Bentley College of Accounting and Finance ’61. Fran began his accounting career at Boston Capital Corporation before joining the newly formed TA Associates as their Accounting and Office Manager. The relationships and trust Fran built at TA Associates garnered him the reputation of one of the most well respected advisors to the leaders of the Venture Capital industry since the 1970s.
In 1981, Fran started Kingsley Business Service, Inc in order to provide both corporate and personal accounting services. He provided tax preparation services to scores of individuals and focused a tremendous amount of his time in the offices of Burr, Egan, Deleage and Co for over 20 years along with their many successor firms for another 20. However, his personal relationships bridged more than half of his life where those clients became friends and those friends became family.
Fran married Gail Peters in 1969 and together they raised their children Eric and Sharon in an ever changing myriad of homes in South Eastern Massachusetts. In Fran’s life he amassed 20 addresses and at each of those always a new group of respected friends and in many times more and more tax clients. When Eric chose to attend Bentley College in 1988, Fran found a renewed love for his alma mater and became very involved in the Alumni Association. He eventually became President of the Alumni Association sharing his love of Bentley with fellow alumni and current students. In 1995 he began what would become a 24 year tenure as a Trustee.
As a Trustee, Fran was a dedicated member of the board and played an important role in Bentley’s governance as the school transitioned to university status. Fran was such a vocal supporter of Bentley, and had a special place in his heart for the student experience on campus. He was a frequent attendee of many Bentley Athletics games and was a passionate supporter of the students in both the classroom and on the field. Just prior to his leaving the Board in the spring of 2019, Fran made a generous gift directed to the student pep band, showing his dedication to making campus life memorable for the students.
Outside of his passion for work and all things Bentley, Fran’s life revolved around his love for his family, in particularly his grandchildren. He made a point to attend everything he possibly could whether it be a sporting event, dance recital, band concert or graduation. He was truly beloved by all. His son, Eric and his wife Kathy along with their children Zachary and Allison as well as his daughter Sharon and her husband Rob (Tatro) along with their children Scott and Rachel are all left with a large emptiness in their hearts and a noticeable absence of his presence.
Fran lit up talking about his family to anyone and everyone that would listen. He took so much pride in being able to see that his legacy would forever go on through his family. For the last 18 years, he worked to transition his business to his daughter, Sharon. He loved watching his son Eric embody his own entrepreneurial spirit in starting his own business. He adored his son-in law Rob and daughter in law Kathy and was so happy to welcome them to his family. For all of his grandkids it wasn’t a question of whether or not he was available to attend everything important to them, just what time did it start so he could be there an hour early to get the best seat. Most recently, his grandson Scott began attending Bentley University and Fran could not hide his heartful joy to share his love with another generation.
Fran’s family will hold a memorial service for him on Bentley’s campus on what would have been his 84th birthday on October 1. It is our sincerest hope that we will be able to gather together to remember Fran in October, public health conditions permitting.
Fran’s family has asked that memorial gifts be directed to the Kingsley Family Scholarship fund at Bentley. They may be sent in his memory to Bentley University, 175 Forest Avenue, Waltham, MA 02452.
Perhaps the most fitting sentiment about Fran is his own quote in his high school yearbook. “A quiet fellow, always so neat. Charming in his manner, he is pleasant to meet.” He embodied that with his entire being and he will be incredibly missed.
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