AMerican Veteran 11

John Bernard French

September 14, 1928 ~ March 9, 2020 (age 91)

Obituary

John B. French, 91, of Helena, formerly of Livingston, passed away on Monday, March 9, 2020 in Helena. A Rosary will be held Thursday, March 12, 6:00 P.M. at Simple Cremation MT, 1414 Euclid Avenue, Helena in the Elk Plaza. Mass of Christian burial will be held on Friday, March 13, 12:00 P.M. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Livingston. Viewing will be held one hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will be at the Gardiner Cemetery at 2:30 P.M. on Friday with Veterans honors.

 

John was born on September 14, 1928 in Gardiner, Montana to Herbert and Rose (Kobe) French. John was born with his twin enroute to the hospital in Livingston.  He was raised in Gardiner, his father worked for the Park Service. His mother was a schoolteacher in Gardiner. He graduated from Gardiner High in 1946.

John was drafted in the U.S. Army on January 5, 1951 serving during the Korean Conflict. He was honorably discharged in December of 1952.  He then served in the Army Reserve until 1956.

John married Ruth Suden in 1955 in Stanford, Montana.

He then attended Montana State College in Bozeman.  While in college he and Ruth began their family. John graduated with a degree in engineering.

The family moved to Seattle where John began his career with Boeing.  He worked as an engineer designing aircraft interiors.  He retired from Boeing in 1971.

The family relocated to Livingston and in 1971 he built an A & W Drive-in which later became French’s Drive-in until 1981.  He also owned Park Lumber where he and Mark ran the mill.  He later sold the mill and closed the drive-in. 

John and Ruth then enjoyed their time together until Ruth’s passing on May 16, 2006.  John was hardworking, dedicated to his faith, was a talented carpenter, building both his restaurant and his home. He was a “Gold Miner” savoring the time spent out panning, and he liked to go cut firewood.  He loved going to the family cabin in the Little Belt Mountains. He contributed and supervised many projects, even at the age of 90!

John is survived by his son, Mark (Teresa) French of Helena; daughter Mary Jon French also of Helena, and daughter, Nancy (Sam) Ricci of Coeur d’Alene, ID.  He is also survived by grandchildren: Melissa Ricci, Stefanie Ricci, Christina (Chris) Curran, Ashley French, Britney (Andrew) Varhley, Kelby (Janelle) Garman and great-grandchildren: Dante Curry, Charlotte Boothe, Rylee Curran, McKenzie Garman, Everett Garman, Lynn Varhley, and Sofia Sensmeyer. As well as, nieces, nephews, cousins and other relatives and friends. 

John was preceded in death by his parents, Herbert and Rose; his wife, Ruth; and his brothers, Max and twin brother, James.

The family would also like to thank the staff at the BeeHive Homes in Helena where John lived for the past 2 years.

In lieu of flowers, please contribute to the Special Olympics of MT in John’s name.

Franzen-Davis Funeral Home and Crematory has been entrusted with arrangements.

 

 

Franzen-Davis Funeral Home and Crematory has been entrusted with arrangements.

 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John Bernard French, please visit our floral store.


Services

Recitation of the Rosary
Thursday
March 12, 2020

6:00 PM
Simple Cremation Montana
1414 Euclid Avenue
Helena, MT 59601

Visitation
Friday
March 13, 2020

11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Franzen-Davis Funeral Home and Crematory
118 N 3rd Street
Livingston, MT 59047

Mass of Christian Burial
Friday
March 13, 2020

12:00 PM
St. Mary's Catholic Church
38 Vista View Drive
Livingston, MT 59047

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