Raymond Telford French June 5, 1925 - May 8, 2013 Resident of Oakland Raymond Telford French, born and raised in Alameda, CA, died from complications related to Parkinson's disease at the age of 87, while surrounded by his family at his home in the Oakland hills, his residence since 1959. Ray graduated from Alameda High School in 1943 where he was a star two-sport athlete (basketball and baseball) and was named All ACAL in 1942 and 1943. Joe Devine, the famed NY Yankee scout, signed Ray out of high school. Ray enjoyed a 4-year minor league professional baseball career playing for the New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Seals organizations. After the 1943 season, Ray's baseball career was put on hold while he served in the U.S. Coast Guard during WWII aboard the USS Rockford. After retiring from professional baseball, Ray embarked on a successful 40-year career with Safeway Stores Inc., highlighted by over 30 years in management. Ray served as one of the first managers of the pilot super stores opened by Safeway during the 1970's and finished his career working for the corporate office as a supervisor of inventory. After retiring in 1990, Ray and his wife Iris enjoyed traveling and attending A's and Raiders games as loyal season ticket holders. Ray also loved to walk, swim, coach his grandchildren's baseball teams and attend their games, recitals, plays and school events. Ray is survived by his lovely wife of 64 ½ years, Iris Louise French; his 6 children: Rosemary, John, Tom, Beth, Katie and Peter; and 7 grandchildren: Courtney, John, Benjamin, Kevin, Grace, Jacob and Emma. A celebration of Ray's life will take place on Sat., July 27, 2013 from 2-4pm at the Montclair Women's Club, located at 1650 Mountain Blvd, Oakland, CA 94611. Anyone who plans to attend and/or would like to share any stories or photographs of Ray, please RSVP to Rayfrenchmemorial@comcast.net. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Parkinson Research Foundation.
Published in Inside Bay Area on July 12, 2013