STAMFORD, Conn. – James French, of Stamford, died Sunday, Jan. 24. He was 91.
Born Aug. 25, 1924, in Worcester, Mass., to James Sr. and Delia French of Killarney, Ireland, he had an incredibly full life, serving his country in combat, his church and his community and adopted home of 60 years, Stamford. In World War II, he served as a 1st Lt. Bombardier and Navigator in the 15th Air Force, flying dozens of missions over Italy, Germany, Austria and Poland in a B-17.
After the war, he got his first two degrees from Clark University before moving to Stamford and working as an executive for American Cyanamid while going on to get his master’s in business from New York University.
He loved living on Bell Island and in Old Greenwich before he settled down and started a family. In 1959, he married Mary Elizabeth “Betty” French. He was involved greatly with his church and diocese as a founding parishioner of St. Leo's Church and was Holy Name Societies Man of the Year. He also was an architect and early president of the Stamford Catholic Regional School System. Until recently, he still served as an usher at St. Leo's.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Mary; his sons Chris (Mary) of New York City; David of Stamford; Tim (Pam) of Chicago; Robert (Carolyn) of New York City; granddaughters Kiera and Charlotte; his sister-in-law, Pat; nieces, nephews, their children and grandchildren.
He was predeceased by his son Richard; brother Patrick; and sisters Marion, Kate and Eileen. For his 90th birthday, four generations made it to the old family house in Westover.
A Mass of Christian burial will be conducted at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at St. Leo's Church, 24 Roxbury Road, Stamford. There will be visitation from 9:30-11 a.m. at Leo P. Gallagher & Son Funeral Home, 2900 Summer St., Stamford, prior to the Mass. Interment will be at St. John's Roman Catholic Cemetery in Springdale, 25 Camp Ave., Darien.
Donations are requested to the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County .
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