Francis M. Pierce, 83, of Mattoon, Illinois, passed away at 12:14 p.m. on Wednesday, December 31, 2008, at Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center in Mattoon, surrounded by his family. His death followed a lengthy battle with esophageal cancer. A funeral mass was held on Saturday, January 3, 2009, at Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church in Mattoon with Father Dennis Kollross celebrating. The body will be cremated and burial will be at a later date in Gulfport, Miss. Schilling Funeral Home assisted the family with the arrangements.