Robert Sumner French

Obituary
  • "Bob French and my dad, Howard Adams, became friends while..."
    - Kris Adams Wendt
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    - Christa Voss
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French, Robert Sumner

Robert Sumner French, 90, died Saturday, July 13, 2014 at his residence in Appleton, Wisconsin. Born in Chicago on July 14, 1923, he was just two days shy of his 91st birthday. He was the son of the late Sumner Faville French and Bertha Ellen Anderson French. He graduated from Lawrence College with a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts (Social Science and Education) and with a Master of Arts in Education (Student Personnel Administration). He served in the U. S. Navy during World War II to include time on the heavy cruiser U. S. S. Augusta in the Atlantic. His career was mostly spent in College Admissions and especially High School Guidance Counselling at Hicksville High School on Long Island in New York. He influenced thousands of students. One grateful former student endowed the Robert S. French Professor of American Studies position in the Department of History at Lawrence University in his honor. He was a serious student of President Abraham Lincoln and collected many first edition books on Lincoln and the Civil War as well as other related artifacts. A number of years ago he donated this collection to the Lawrence University where it is a major cornerstone of the Lincoln Reading Room. He traveled extensively throughout the world and had just returned in June of this year from a cruise of the Danube River in Europe.

Survivors include one nephew: Harold Conrad Fleischer III and his wife, Jane, of San Antonio, Texas and one niece: Betsy Ruth Fleischer of Harrodsburg, Kentucky; two grandnephews: Harold "Kurt" Conrad Fleischer IV of San Antonio, Texas, and Paul Morgan Donahue of Tampa, Florida; one grandniece: Faville Brady Donahue of Lawrenceburg and two great-grandnephews: Aidan Tyler-Ray Dzuck and Anson David Donahue. He was also preceded in death by his grandnephew: Corporal Jacob Rudeloff Fleischer, US Army who was killed in action in Afghanistan.

A memorial service will take place at 2 pm on Thursday, July 24, in the Nathan Marsh Pusey Room of the Warch Campus Center at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin.

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Published in Fond du Lac Reporter on July 20, 2014
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