John Jacob France III
1940 - 2021
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John Jacob France III, was born to John J France II and Lucelle Chew France on December 24, 1940 in Brighton, Colorado. John died March 9, 2021 from cancer in Las Cruces NM. John first moved to Las Cruces, New Mexico in 1944. He grew up with his 4 sisters Betty Boyle, Mary Tucker, Bilye Jo Nordwall, and Carolynn Cooper, all of Las Cruces . Graduating from Las Cruces High School in 1958, he attended NMSU and graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Science in Education, teaching High School Chemistry and Math. He then earned a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering from NMSU. College brought more than just an education to John; he met his life long best friend Les Coffman and they married beautiful sisters Carol and Barbara Medinger. John joined the army in 1965 as a Second Lieutenant and served with the Ordinance Crew as a mechanical maintenance officer. He was extremely proud to serve his country where he trained and commanded 3 army battalions before their deployment to Vietnam. Captain France retired from active duty but remained in the Army Reserves for 10 years. He and Carol had 2 daughters, Sonya France of Columbia, Missouri and Cindie Hill of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. After serving in the US Army, John went on to become a nationally recognized Chemical Engineering consultant and expert in distillation towers. He was a national speaker and published several articles in the Chemical Engineering magazine. At an early age, John found a passion for running. In high school he set the state record for the 880. Running track for NMSU, John lettered and received outstanding track awards in the 880 and 440. Later in life, John rekindled his passion of competitive running and took up the sport of Triathlon. He ran Sprint and Olympic Triathlons throughout the United States, and he also represented the United States at the International Triathlon Union World Championships held at Edmonton, Canada and Chicago, Illinois. John met the of love of his life, Deana Kessin, walking his dogs in the desert near NMSU in 2010 while visiting family. John quickly sold his house in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and moved to Las Cruces where he and Deana and their three dogs enjoyed a full and eventful eleven years. Every day John told Deanna how much he loved her, how beautiful she is and he cherished the many activities they did together. He was truly happy when he was with Deana. John had an incredible bigger than life personality. Silly antics, always joking, humor to give to anyone, even strangers, making them laugh out loud. He had a knack for figuring out any problem and a work ethic that was built on high standards and always finishing a task that was started. He was proceeded in death by his wife Carol Medinger France, his parents John and Lucelle, his sister Carolynn, and his best friend Les Coffman. He is survived by his life partner Deana Kessin, daughters Sonya and Cindie (Paul), 7 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren. A viewing will be held on Monday, March 15, 2021 at 1:00pm at La Paz, Grahams in Las Cruces, NM. Covid-19 protocols will be observed. A celebration of life is planned for Saturday April 10. Details will be announced later. In lieu of flowers, John would like to have contributions made to the NMSU Army ROTC, Mesilla Valley Hospice, or the RoadRunner Food bank.

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Published in The Advocate from Mar. 13 to Mar. 14, 2021.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
MAR
15
Viewing
01:00 PM
La Paz Grahams
Memories & Condolences
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8 entries
April 10, 2021
Dear Deana,
I'm so sorry to hear about John's passing. I will miss seeing him walking the dogs around the neighborhood, always smiling, upbeat, and ready to chat. He lived a full and happy life. May he rest in peace.
Catherine Ortega Klett
Neighbor
April 6, 2021
I am so sorry to read the news of John’s demise. A couple of years ago, I tried to connect on Facebook but without much success. I thought of checking again and ran into his obituary.
John and I were good friends at NMSU. We shared an office and most classes. John helped me acclimate to the US. He was a close friend during my stay at New Mexico. We remained in virtual contact thereafter.
I am sure he is in a better place. God bless him and May his soul rest in peace.
Raj Ranjan
Raj Ranjan
Friend
March 22, 2021
Dear France Family, Our heartfelt condolences to you on the passing of John. He was such nice gentleman and know he will be missed. Sending thoughts and prayers from the Apodaca Family. Clara Apodaca.
Clara Apodaca
Friend
March 15, 2021
I worked with John at Jacobs in Baton Rouge LA. Great personality, always willing to share and to teach. He was our Tower Expert. Cared about each one he worked with. He will be missed.
Jay Howard
Coworker
March 13, 2021
JOHN WAS A GOOD FRIEND OF MINE, WE WENT TO SCHOOL TOGETHER FROM ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, CENTRAL SCHOOL, COURT JR. HIGH AND LAS CRUCES HIGH. MAY OUR GOOD LORD WELCOME JOHN INTO HIS HEAVENLY KINGDOM WITH OPEN ARMS, SIT HIM AT THE RIGHT HAND OF THE FATHER, AND ALLOW HIM A JOYFUL , PEACEFUL PERPETUAL ETERNAL LIFE. REST IN PEACE MY GOOD FREIND. GOD BLESS YOU FOREVER AND EVER.
LEE M. MEDINA
Friend
March 13, 2021
To the entire France Family , John will be remembered Our thoughts and Prayers are with all of You at this time .
Larry Luchini
Lawrence Luchini
Friend
March 11, 2021
John France was the absolute best dad anyone could have! He will be terribly missed by all who knew and loved him.
Sonya France
Daughter
March 11, 2021
I first met John when he was on the track team at NMSU. He was always cheerful & friendly, and the brother-in-law to my dentist the late Dr. Jim Tucker. Heartfelt condolences to his family, and hugs to my dear friend, John’s big sister, Mary Tucker. Run in Peace John.
Pat Hill-Yandell
Classmate
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