Mary Gene (Bailey) French (1925 - 2018)

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  • "I will miss this beautiful lady with an Angel's love and..."
    - Bobbi Hunter
  • "Our thoughts and prayers to the family !"
    - Bill & Melba Capps
  • "My husband and I were Mrs French's neighbors in Williston..."
    - Virginia Ingaran
  • "A great lady that I feel fortunate to have known. My heart..."
    - Jim Smith
  • "Remembering your great love story today and always."
    - Nancy Vallario
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Mary Gene French, 92, went to be with our Lord and Savior Feb. 25, 2018.
She was born in Wauchula March 17, 1925 to Mary Eva Wilkin Bailey and Eugene Theon Bailey. The family moved to Colquitt, Ga. when she was seven years old and then to Williston in 1941 when she was 16.
She graduated from Williston High School in 1943, attended Georgia State Women's College in Valdosta, Ga. for one year before transferring to Stetson University in DeLand where she became a life member of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Education in 1947.
While there she met the love of her life Royal Langford French of Valdosta, Ga. They were married at the First United Methodist Church in Williston Aug. 21, 1948. They were happily married for 63 years and blessed with a daughter, Debra and a son, Chip.
Mrs. French taught school at Tiny Tot Kindergarten, Liberty Hall Academy, Williston Elementary and Joyce Bullock Elementary Schools over her 30 year career in Levy County, retiring in 1985.
She was proud to have twice been the Teacher of the Year. She was a member of the Retired Educators of Levy County, Florida Education Association, the international teacher's sorority Delta Kappa Gamma and the First United Methodist Church in Williston. She was a Charter member of the Williston Jr. Woman's Club serving as its first President in 1950 and 1951, past-President of the Williston Highlands Golf and Country Club Ladies Golf Association and a member of the White Rose Nursery Board of Directors. She loved her family and friends, enjoyed the beach, church, dancing to Big Band music, traveling, politics and the theater.
Mary Gene is survived by daughter, Debra French (Dan) Jones of Williston, son, Royal "Chip" (Pam) French Jr. of Jacksonville Beach and brother, Tom Bailey of Lake City; grandchildren, Cara Wilkinson (Matt) Fortney, Matthew (Kymber) Wilkinson, Ashtin French, Adam French, Cody Hendrix, Kelly Jones (Tim) Bishop and Stephanie Jones (Bill) Touchton; great-grandchildren, Emily Wilkinson, Matt Matt Wilkinson, Zack Wilkinson, Justin Fairbanks, Bailey Wilkinson, Jaxson Wilkinson, Noel Wilkinson, Blaine Wilkinson, Paxton French, Tyler Putman, Travis Bishop, Hobby Bishop, Maggie Iorio, Trace Touchton and Hannah Touchton; sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews and extended family.
She was preceded in death by her devoted husband, Royal French; brother, Bill Bailey and her parents.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the First United Methodist Church Children's Home or Haven Hospice.
Funeral services will be held Sunday, March 4, at the First United Methodist Church of Williston with visitation beginning at 2 p.m. and the service at 3 p.m. Burial will follow at Orange Hill Cemetery with the the Rev. Danny Bennett and Rev. Barry Andrews officiating.
Arrangements are under the direction of Knauff Funeral Home – Williston.
Funeral Home
Knauff Funeral Home - WILLISTON, FL
512 E Noble Ave
Williston, FL 32696
(352) 528-3481
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Published in Williston Pioneer on Mar. 1, 2018
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