John French died at the Tucson Arizona Medical Center after a lengthy struggle with Parkinson’s disease. He was the husband of 37 years to his devoted wife, Beth (Eastman) French of Tucson.
Born in Boston, MA, he was the son of the late Mark Pelley French and Elsa Larsen (Sessler) French. A longtime resident of Danvers, he was a graduate of Holten High School, Class of 1957 and Bentley College.
Following college, John joined the U.S. Marine Corps and served his country faithfully. While on military maneuvers in the southwest, he came to love the climate and stark beauty of Arizona and New Mexico and knew then that he would one day return in retirement. Upon discharge from the Marine Corps, John worked for the United Fruit Co., helping to establish their computer systems and was transferred to Costa Rica where he helped set up the computer systems for the Company’s holdings throughout that country.
On return home to New England, John married his wife Beth and they lived for many years in her home town of Reading, MA.
John spent many happy times in the White Mountains of New Hampshire climbing the hills and mountains with his brothers and friends and camping throughout the area. He also enjoyed being in the wilds, participating in the sport of orienteering. He was also a long time member of the Sons of Norway and the Vasa Order of America. Upon retirement, he moved to Tucson, fulfilling his long time desire to live in and enjoy the magnificent desert environment.
John will be missed by all who knew and loved him, especially his two daughters, son and eight grandchildren and one great grandchild: Jenny Bouchie and her husband Matthew of Clearwater, FL, Vicky Fortin and her husband Norman of Reading, MA, Sean and his wife Louise of Auburndale, FL. He is also survived by his brothers, Paul (Barbara) of Boxford, David (Diane) of Woburn and Mark of Ipswich and many nieces and nephews.
John’s good example was a blessing to all those who knew him: Semper Fi, John.
ARRANGEMENTS: A memorial service will be held in Tucson on April 14 at 10AM. A special service will be held in the White Mountains of New Hampshire where his ashes will be spread on a high hill he especially loved.