Richard Haudiomont "Duke" Francis, 74, a retired Marine Corps lieutenant colonel and former HUD official, died of cancer Oct. 30 at his home in Woodbridge.

Col. Francis enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1943 and was trained as a radar technician. He then received a fleet appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, from which he graduated with the class of 1949. In 1952 and 1953, he served in Korea during the war there, serving with the 1st Marine Division as an artillery and intelligence officer.

After that, he served on the Naval ROTC staff at Yale University and held staff and artillery posts in this country and in Okinawa. In the 1960s, he served as an assistant naval attache in Spain. His last assignment, before retiring from active duty in 1969, was with the staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Col. Francis was born on Long Island, N.Y., and grew up in Boston. He received a master's degree in political science from Yale University and a doctorate in political science from the University of Maryland.

After retiring from active duty, he worked for the National Council for Independent Colleges and Universities before joining the Department of Housing and Urban Development in the mid-1970s. Before retiring from HUD in 1987, he served as executive director of its National Multi-Housing Council and president of its Solar Bank.

He had worked in the 1980 presidential election campaign of Ronald Reagan.

His military decorations included the Joint Services Commendation Medal and a Commendation Letter with combat "V."

Col. Francis's hobbies included travel and golf.

His first wife, the former Della Bailey, died in 1986. Survivors include his wife, the former Sally Leonard of Woodbridge; three children from his first marriage, Mark Francis of Richmond, Clare Francis Siegel of McLean, and Daniel P. Francis of Woodbridge; three grandchildren; and eight step-grandchildren.