Francis William French, known as Will or Frank, died peacefully and surrounded by family on November 30, 2012. He was the devoted husband for 45 years to Linda Caldwell French, beloved parent of Bill French, Gordon French, Valerie Spencer, Gail Fricano, and Elizabeth Burns, and proud grandfather of eight grandchildren, Maeve, Larissa, Julianna, Liam, Audrey, Benjamin, Amelia, and Grace. He is predeceased by two brothers, Robert and Malcolm MacPhee. Will was born in Brooklyn, NY, on December 28, 1927, to Francis W. French and Mary Thornton French. He proudly served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He graduated from Polytechnic University of New York University in 1951 with a B.S. in aeronautical engineering. From the same university, he received an M.S. in applied mechanics (1956) and a Ph.D. in aeronautical engineering (1959). He moved to Belmont in 1970 and remained an involved member of the community for the rest of his life. His hobbies included running and judo. He had a successful career as an aerospace engineer, most recently for SAIC, from which he retired in 1992. After his retirement, Will remained very active in the Belmont United Methodist Church, the Belmont Retired Mens Club, and the Masons. He also served as a town meeting member. He traveled throughout the world, took courses at local universities, learned new languages, and was a volunteer tutor. He also loved cycling, swimming, and going to the gym. His primary joy, however, was spending time with his family, who live in Massachusetts and Arizona. A funeral was held at the Belmont United Methodist Church on December 5, 2012. In lieu of the flowers, donations may be made to Heifer International.
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Published in The Belmont Citizen-Herald from Dec. 4 to Dec. 11, 2012