Robert J. Francis, 69, a retired Foreign Service officer and former consul general and counselor of the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, died of congestive heart failure Nov. 2 at a hospital in Kingsport, Tenn.
He was a past assistant treasurer of the Democratic National Committee and general manager of the party magazine, The Democratic Digest.
Mr. Francis was born in New York City. He earned a law degree from George Washington University. He moved to Washington in 1935 and joined the old Social Security Board. He was an assistant administrator with the old Federal Public Housing Authority for seven years before he joined the Foreign Service in 1947.
His career included overseas duty in Santiago, Chile, Rio de Janeiro, and Ottawa. He also had been a Foreign Service budget officer, acting director of the Voice of America, and executive director of the Bureau of European Affairs.
About 1955, Mr. Francis founded Toy Fair, a chain of toy stores in the Washington area. He returned to the Foreign Service in 1959. He retired in 1967. He lived briefly in Arizona, then moved to Tennessee where he became a real estate developer.
His first wife, Margaret Karen Bittner, died in 1955.
Survivors include his wife, Valda Fish Francis of Kingsport; three children by his first marriage, Elinor A. Salerno of Scarsdale, N.Y., Claire Richards of Huntsville, Ala., and Walton J. Francis of Washington; a son by his second marriage, Joseph D., of Pasadena, Calif.; two brothers, Hugh G., of Arlington, and Jon, of McLean, and eight grandchildren.