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Jerome C. French

Jerome C. French, 89, husband of Abbie E. (Lander) French and a lifelong resident of Essex died Tuesday, September 18, 2012 in Cape Cod Hospital, Hyannis following  a series of illnesses.

He was born in Essex on May 19, 1923, the son of the late Gertrude French Welch. He attended Essex public schools and was  a member of the old Essex High School graduating class of 1940.  He went on to serve in the U.S. Army during WW II, the recipient of several medals including the Bronze Star. Mr. French was employed for twenty-nine years  as a machinist  at the United Shoe Machine Corp. in Beverly. During these years  he earned  a degree attending night classes at  the Lowell Institute of Technology at M.I.T. Cambridge. Subsequent to his job at USM, he worked for Wilbur Tracy at Gloucester Engineering until its’ sale when Jerome went on to assist in creating Wilbur Tracy Associates in Essex.

He loved the town of Essex and  wrote many articles for the “My View” column in the Gloucester Times. In his later years he became a source of historical information of the town.

Jerome was a charter member of the Herbert Goodhue Essex  AMVETS post, a lifelong member of the Essex Veteran Firemen’s Association  and has been a member of Stephen A. Meuse  American Legion Post #231 since the end of WW II. He served as a coach, with Ivan Muise and Charles Untiet, of the first Little League in Essex in the mid 1950’s, was  a member of the Old State Guard, 13th Company, 24th Infantry Division that disbanded on January 31, 1944,  was a former park superintendent for the Town of Essex,  a member of the board of Water Commissioners when water was first brought into town, including summer service, which he and his brother Edward (Tubby) Welch helped install in the late 40s, and is still in use today.

In addition to his wife, with whom he just celebrated  seventy-two years of marriage, Jerome is survived by  a son, George E. French and his wife Ruth of Hyannis, a step-brother, Edward Welch of Essex, two grandchildren, Michael T. French and his wife Michele of Essex, and Kelley J. French of Yarmouth Port; two great-grandchildren, Aaron W. Steele and Brooke E. Steele both of Yarmouth Port; a brother-in-law, Francis Lander and his wife Nancy of Gloucester, and several nieces and nephews. He was the father of the late  Gloria J. French formerly of  Essex.

His funeral service with Army Honors will be held Saturday, September 22, 2012 graveside at 11:00 am in the Spring Street Cemetery, Essex. Family and friends are respectfully welcomed. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions in his name may be made to the Essex Fire Company Equipment Fund, c/o James Albani, Treasurer, 8 Pine Ridge Road, Essex, MA 01929.


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