Beloved James French of rural Osceola died at home July 9, 2021, surrounded by family after a gtwo year decline in health. He was 90.
James was born Jan. 11, 1931, in Peterson, Iowa, and had one brother, Jerre. He attended grade school in Peterson and high school in Spencer, Iowa. He graduated from Iowa State University in 1953 with a BS in Industrial Economics.
He enlisted in the Army in 1953 and was assigned to Army counter intelligence, and received basic conversational training in Japanese. He was shipped to Korea for an 18-month tour and was proud of his military service and regarded it as a life-enriching experience.
After his service he obtained a job with Continental Casualty Company in Chicago and worked for 19 years as an actuary later accepting a position at Mutual of Omaha. He eventually accepted a position with ITT Life Insurance Company as Senior Vice President and CFO. He retired from ITT Life in 1996.
James loved airplanes and obtained his private pilot’s license while living in Chicago. He eventually became certified as a flight instructor.
He and wife, Judy, retired to the St. Croix River Valley area in 2001. Among other things, he loved his dogs, living in the country, classical music, the Nutcracker Fantasy and having a project to tinker on. He is greatly missed!
He is urvived by his wife, Judy and his two children, Courtney French and Manning Knudsen, his step-children Beth and Kirk McDougall, three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held Oct. 9 at 11 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Stillwater, Minn.
Donations in his memory may be given to Arnell Memorial Humane Society in Amery or the Nature Conservancy.