Jerry Francis French
Jerry Francis French was born in Springfield, Missouri on March 6, 1928 to William Francis and Lelia (Dennis) French. At the age of 85, on Thursday, July 11, 2013 he passed away at Mercy Hospital.
Jerry grew up on a dairy farm on the east side of Springfield. He attended Oakland, a one room school through the 8th grade. He graduated from Senior High School (Central) in 1946, where he was a member of SHS's only undefeated 1945 football team. He graduated in 1950 from the University of Missouri with a degree in Argiculture. Upon graduation he married the love of his life Millie Irene Coonrod. To that union were born three daughters, Paula, Karen and Geri. In 1950 he served his country in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean Conflict. In 1953 Jerry returned to Springfield where he joined his father on the dairy farm. The farm grew and prospered. The French Farm won several state and national awards. Jerry was active in local and state dairy associations, and in the 1960's he served several terms as president of the American Dairy Association.
Jerry enjoyed farming and raising his daughters on the farm. He loved animals and liked to reminisce about riding his pony to the one room school and over to his grandparents house to play with his cousins. He was proud to be a member of the Boy Scout Band and also in the Springfield Children's Symphony "The Symphonettes".
A special thanks goes to his new friends and caregivers at Mercy Villa. Jerry never met a stranger and always had a smile for them. He was very comfortable and happy at Mercy Villa.
He was sad to leave his family and his cat "Buddy", but knew it was time to join his wife who passed in 2003. His departure from this earth leaves a void in his friends and families lives. He was a kind and generous man, we will miss his smiling face.
A private graveside service was held at Eastlawn Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Humane Society of Southwest Missouri or C.A.R.E. (cast away animal rescue). Online condolences may be left at gormanscharpf.com
Published in the News-Leader on July 17, 2013