Farewell to family man and legendary cafe owner in Kirkintilloch

Francis & Sheena Rossi
Francis & Sheena Rossi

MORE than 1,000 people have paid tribute to the man behind one of Kirkintilloch’s greatest institutions.

Francis Rossi was the owner of Ghiloni’s Cafe, the award-winning family-run business in Townhead, established more than 125 years ago.

He was born above his beloved cafe – popular with generations of Kirkintilloch folk – and lived his whole life in the town.

Francis Rossi died last month from heart and kidney failure following a battle with ill health. He was 64.

More than 1,000 people attended Francis’ funeral in Holy Family and St Ninian’s Parish Church, in Kirkintilloch, recently.

His family have paid tribute to a much-loved husband, father, grandfather and boss.

They described him as a man who loved his work, was extremely generous and gave to charities and individuals, and was well-known in the area.

Francis was married to Sheena (53). Francis had two children, Anthony (41) and Jacqueline (43) with his first wife Margaret, who died when she just 32.

He was also proud papa to his grandchildren Dario (11), Jenna (11) and Leah (8).

Sheena said: “Francis was known for his generosity. A number of people have come into the cafe and said that he had helped them.

“He was known to the Kidney Patients’ Association as the ‘silent giver’, because he gave so much to them, but never told anyone.

“He worked so hard and gave so much to other people and took so little for himself. He was still working the week he died.

“Anthony and I are taking the shop forward in the way Francis would want.”

Francis was a master baker to trade and worked in Lewis’s department store in Glasgow.

He joined Ghiloni’s in his early 20s when his father, Bruno, passed away.

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