Richard Elden French passed away at Memorial Medical Center in Modesto at the age of 74.
He was a native of Watsonville.
Richard was the son of Rollie R. French and Dorothy Ellen French, father of Elizabeth Ellen French Gomez, brother of Emily Ellen French Hansen, and uncle of Jeff, Bob and Bill Hansen, and loving grandfather of Fernando J., Adrian B., and Emily E. Gomez
He attended Watsonville schools and was a member of the First Christian Church in Watsonville, where he founded The Boys Club, a place where teenage boys could go after school. Many boys gathered at his club and formed a basketball team, which was a sport he loved to play himself. He took the boys on many field trips, camp, and cook outs for many years, even after he was married to his first wife Sandra. He loved to camp and fish.
During his second marriage to Pattie Barrett, he enjoyed and loved being a father to the Barrett children, Rox Ann, Kim, Robert and William, and grandfather to Terilyn ,Jeremy, Fred, Richard, Joseph, Sarita, Timothy, Matthew, Brittany, William Jr., Chad and Adam. There are also seven great-grandchildren in the Barrett family and the eighth is due any minute.
He did not remarry, however he shared the last years with Irma L. Brooks Roberts (widowed). He held her hand through many illnesses and losses and cared deeply for her mother, Iris Brooks. He enjoyed spending time with friends and golf partners. He loved his potluck and poker nights. He also loved his bible studies, and thanks to a wonderful pastor who he loves, he became a Christian. He glowed on his baptism day and his love for Jesus shone brighter than the stars. He wanted everyone to feel Gods love.
Richard French was a very special man, always kind, loving caring and helpful to everyone. He could turn strangers into friends and frowns into smiles; laughter will be less often without his jokes .He always had a song to sing or hum, a long message to leave, a jolly laugh or smile to give. It will be quiet without his laughter, and his special knock at the door will be missed. Holidays were special to him. His favorite was Easter, even in his seventies. He would sneak out in the middle of the night to hide eggs.
He worked in construction as a lather for many years. He was famous for his dog houses. He loved working with wood.
Most of all, he loved golf. We would love to believe that after Jesus restored his tired body with his love and grace, he found the most beautiful golf course and joined his father and nephew while he drinks Granny Mae’s tea, all this after he hugged and kissed his mother, of course, and great-grandma and papa are preparing his favorite farm breakfast.
Richard French lived in Watsonville and Gilroy most of his life until his last years in Modesto. He will always be remembered as a happy, playful man who always had a smile on his face and song in his heart. May God bless all who loved and lost him.
He chose to be cremated without services. A dinner with friends and golf partners will be given in his honor the evening of October 6th and a luncheon will be given for friends and family D.T.B.A.