François Marfaing grew up in the Pyrenees mountains, from modest family, probably of shepherds. Towards the end of the 19th century, he settled down the valley to work in a metalworking shop. One day, as team leader, he tried to help a fellow worker that failed to grip the hot metal bar that came out of the mill, but he slipped and got empaled by the burning hot beam. He never recovered from his wounds.
He had married Eugénie Quentin, which had unknown origins, and an interesting legend on this topic. They had at least one child, Maurice Louis Marfaing (born in Pamiers in 1906), who will have a fascinating life.