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L.R. "Bob" French Jr.


1926 - 2013 | Obituary Condolences
L.R. "Bob" French Jr. Obituary
L.R. "Bob" French Jr., a respected independent oil and gas operator and rancher, died peacefully at his home late Friday evening, Aug. 2, 2013. Service: 2 p.m. Monday in the sanctuary of Broadway Baptist Church, 305 W. Broadway Ave., with a reception to follow at River Crest Country Club. Mr. French will be laid to rest privately in Greenwood Memorial Park. Bearers of his casket will be his sons, Robin French, Fuller French, Bo French, Powhatan French; grandson, Lloyd French; half brother, Kirk French; godson, Robin Brown; and friends, Royce Fort, Scott King, John Marion, Charlie Moncrief and Dick Moncrief. Honorary bearers will be his son-in-law, David Boyles and Lee Bass, Barry Beal, Fernando Carrasco, Charlie Dean, Craig Dearden, M.D., Tracy Elms, Matt Etheridge, Jerry Ford, Ben Fortson, Jay Greer, Joel Hirschberg, M.D., Dee Kelly, Mack Rankin, Tommy Smith, Chuck Tate, Eusebio Villalobos and Jim Wikert. Visitation: Family and friends will gather from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday in the Great Room at Robertson Mueller Harper. Memorials: In lieu of flowers, consideration of contributions to Community Hospice of Texas, 6100 Western Place, Fort Worth, Texas 76107, or a , in his memory, is suggested. Born in Brownwood on Sept. 17, 1926, Bob was the son of Rita Kirkpatrick Bettis, a still life, countryside and wildflower artist, and Lloyd Robert French, co-founder of the Permian Basin Oil Show. He was a resident of Midland and Fort Worth and Palm Springs, Calif. Bob was also raised and greatly influenced by his grandparents, Rita McClelland and Ernest Earl Kirkpatrick. His grandfather, who was descended from that hardy pioneer stock of early Texans, passed many of his beliefs and strong work ethic to his grandson. After attending the University of Texas at Austin where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, Bob became a lifelong, staunch supporter of his alma mater as well as its football program. In 1945, Bob joined the U.S. Air Force where he earned his wings and his love of flying was born. He began piloting his own planes in the early 1950s and acquired his jet pilot license in the early 1970s. Bob launched his business career in Odessa in 1946 at French Tool and Supply. In the business world, he was known for driving a hard bargain, yet always being honest and fair; he was "A man of his word, a man of integrity!" Being inducted into the All-American Wildcatters in 1982 honored him and the work he accomplished. Although he traveled extensively and enjoyed hunting expeditions in remote areas of the world, Bob will be remembered for his unique love of the state of Texas. His office library of books collected on Texas reflects this lifetime interest and commitment. His love and respect of the different types of land encompassed within this great state has been constant. He enjoyed ranching on a personal level as well as for business. Bob accomplished much and enjoyed many talents. He was an avid sportsman, especially enjoying golf, tennis and quail hunting. He was one of the golfers who brought in strong professionals to the Odessa Pro-Am, developing it into one of the best Pro-Am tournaments nationally. Just as the PGA got started, the Odessa Pro-Am had to cease due to pro contractual problems. One might say that Bob really gave the PGA its format for success. He was involved in both quarter horse and thoroughbred racing and won many stakes races with both breeds. He was considered an outstanding horseman and received multiple honors from both the Quarter Horse Association and the Thoroughbred Association for the champions he raised. Survivors: In addition to his wife of 50 years, Marcia Fuller French, Bob is survived by five children, Drue Boyles and her husband, David, Robin French and his wife, Anne, Fuller French and his wife, Kara, Bo French and his wife, Sheridan, and Powhatan French and his wife, Alyson; 12 grandchildren, Perry Howell, Sharber Howell, Lloyd French, Eve French, Millicent French, Anabelle French, Bobby Fulton French, West French, Mazarine French, Hawk French, Hattan French and Lyles French; half brother, Kirk French and his wife, Barbara; half sister, Julee French, and their families.
Published in Star-Telegram from Aug. 4 to Aug. 5, 2013
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