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
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.