Jim French was raised in Alameda, CA, and his early years as a Boy Scout instilled a life-long passion for the outdoors. Young Jim loved to hike, camp, and backpack and was happiest either when planning an expedition or when he was in the midst of an adventure.
Jim received degrees in Geology and Geography from Chico State University and B.S. and M.S. degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Tennessee. Jim was a Professional Engineer and worked for the Tennessee Valley Authority in Tennessee and numerous engineering consulting firms in Denver, CO, and San Diego, CA. Most of Jim's career was spent on environmental clean-up projects and he was fortunate to work with many excellent professionals who used their expertise to make our earth a cleaner place.
Jim is survived by his wife of 31 years, Frances; his daughters, Madeline "Maddie" and Rosemary "Rosie"; sister, Liz Geyer; six nieces; numerous cousins; and many loved family members.
Throughout his daughters' childhoods, Jim championed years of cross-country skiing, hiking and camping. Vacations and weekends were spent going to the mountains, ocean or desert and visiting state and national parks was a priority. Some of Jim's favorite vacations were spent in Maui, the mountains of Colorado, the canyons and cliffs of Utah and Arizona, and the vast array of beauty found in California.
Jim loved food and drink and was an inventive cook. He was pleased to rustle up food for family and friends and in recent years enjoyed hosting gatherings at Thanksgiving. He could conjure up a meal at a moment's notice and was also adept at discovering brews of beer to enjoy.
Jim's family is hosting a Celebration of Life on Friday, November 16, 2012, at 3:00 p.m. at the Bernardo Winery in Rancho Bernardo. Attendees are requested to wear Hawaiian shirts or cheerful clothing and join us in sharing happy memories about Jim.
Donations may be made to the California State Parks Foundation or to a