Memorial services are scheduled for 10 a.m., Friday, May 10, 2013, at Anderson-Bethany Funeral Home Chapel, for Don French, 77. The Rev. Jason Perry of Tabernacle Baptist Church will officiate.
Don was born in Ruidoso, to Willis and Mamie French. They have preceded him in death as did his wife of 45 years Pat French.
Don was a very rare and special man. The definition of integrity is to do the right thing even if no one is looking, and he definitely was a man of integrity. It was such an honor to have been raised by this man. He touched so many people’s lives in so many ways. He loved the Dallas Cowboys and John Wayne.
Don graduated from Roswell High School in 1954 and served in the National Guard from 1953-1959. He wanted to be a fireman and applied for the job, but there were no openings. He would keep checking for openings so often they thought he worked there, so he was finally hired. He was promoted to fire marshal and later became fire chief and held that position until 1986. He retired after 25 years of service.
He definitely loved his job at the Roswell Fire Department. He always tried to treat anyone with whom he was in contact fairly and with respect. Very seldom did he have something bad to say about anyone, but if he did it was probably because they deserved it.
Don is survived by his children, Laura Peterpaul and her husband Anthony, Kim Young and her husband Mike, and Donny French and his girlfriend Denessa Barraza; grandchildren, Christina Stubblefield (Ray), Anthony DeLaRosa, Tracy DeLaRosa-Rietkerk (Hank), Becky Cartright, Ryan French, Joseph DeLaRosa, Matthew DeLaRosa (Victoria), Courtney Young (Angel Zambrano), Victoria French and Shawn Young; 15 great-grandchildren; his brother Bill French and his wife Elaine; a very special cousin J.C. Shaw and his wife Ginger; his sister-in-law Marcy James; and brothers-in-law Art Janssen and Ed Janssen.
Honorary pallbearers are Billy Connell, Chris Connell, Art Janssen, Ed Janssen, Steve Green and J.C. Shaw.
We would like to thank the ICU staff at ENMMC and Gloria and the staff at Mission Arch Care Center for taking care of our dad.
Our dad touched so many people in so many ways and will surely be missed. We were blessed to have him in our lives and have learned so much from his example.
Please take a moment to share your thoughts and memories with the family in the online registry book at andersonbethany.com.
Services are under the direction of Anderson-Bethany Funeral Home and Crematory.