James Edwin “Jim” French Sr. of Baker City died June 17, 2009 at St. Luke Medical Center in Boise.
His memorial Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Tuesday at St. Francis de Sales Cathedral, First and Church streets. Father Julian Cassar will officiate. Committal service will be afterward at Mount Hope Cemetery. Friends are invited to join the family for a luncheon at St. Francis Parish Hall after the service.
James Edwin French was born on Oct. 6, 1940, at Baker City to James Joseph and Vera Lydia Schmalenberg French. He was raised in Baker City and was a 1959 St. Francis Academy graduate.
Jim married Julie Anne MacKenzie on Sept. 2, 1961, at St. Francis de Sales Cathedral. The couple made Baker City their home where Jim worked as a service mechanic for Cascade Natural Gas for 37 years before retiring in 2002.
From bringing home strays (including a goat) as a child, to feeding the squirrels and birds in his yard, and watching the horses and deer in the Baker foothills, Jim was a true animal lover. He had two labs in his life that he loved dearly: Mike and Megan.
He enjoyed the outdoors where he spent time camping, hunting and fishing. He also enjoyed league bowling and shooting pool with friends and co-workers. Whether buying a new car, jewelry, furniture or at a yard sale with friends he loved to dicker for the price.
Jim loved his family. The greatest pride in his life was his children and grandchildren.
He was a member of the Baker Elks Lodge and St. Francis Parish.
He was preceded in death by his parents, James and Vera French.
Survivors are his wife of 47 years, Julie, of Baker City; son, James French Jr. and his wife, Amber, of Middleton, Idaho; daughters, Cheryl French Austin and her husband, Craig, of Wilsonville, and Susan French Doescher and her husband, Russell, of Pendleton; grandchildren, James J. French II, Michael D. French, Jacob M. Doescher, Brittney A. Doescher, Ali M. Austin, Cole D. Austin and Kyle Hug; sisters, Donna Rowand of Sacramento, Calif., Ann Hill and her husband, Jack, of Prineville, and Lillian Yarosh and her husband, Ted, of Klamath Falls; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Memorial contributions may be made to Best Friends of Baker or the St. Francis Food Bank through Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, June 22, 2009
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor