May 2, 1925 – June 18, 2019
Born on May 2, 1925 in Edson, Alberta to John and Florence French, James French came into the world during the Great Depression as one of 9 siblings. As a teen, he joined the Canadian Armed Forces serving in France, Germany and the Netherlands as a transport driver. After surviving World War II, he came home to work as a skilled bricklayer, lumberjack and truck driver on the west coast. There he met his wife Leona Ramona Senorita Miller and they had three children: Leslie James, Kenneth Allen and Lois Maureen.
In his forties Jim received a terminal diagnosis and he and Leona sold their home in Langley and bought a 160-acre undeveloped homestead deep in the interior of BC. Here they built not only a sturdy home, but a cherished destination that friends and family would enjoy for 45 years and fondly named “Turkey Gulch”. Unfortunately, in 2017 the “Elephant Hill Fire” raged through the region destroying over 12,000 square kilometres including the entire Turkey Gulch homestead and all that Jim and Leona had built. The couple then moved into the Williams Lake Seniors Village where Jim’s dementia progressed, and he was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
On June 18, 2019 James French passed away in the Williams Lake Hospital. He was pre-deceased by his son Ken French. He is survived by his wife of 65 years Leona French; children: Les (Bev) French and Lois (Derek) Benedict; grandchildren: Alison (Darrell) French, Doug (Nicole) French, Fallon (Jesse) Sherlock, Katlyn Benedict, Jacquelyn (Garrett) Wolf and Erin Benedict; and great grandchildren: Kaitlyn Real, Jessie Lewis, Hannah French, Olivia Sherlock and Alice Sherlock.
In lieu of a memorial service the family requests that you take a moment to appreciate time spent with family, visits with friends, or a quiet walk through the woods and remember the joy Jim shared through these things in life and continues to enjoy with Jesus Christ in Heaven. Memorial donations may be made to The War Amps via waramps.ca.
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