GILFORD — Charles Bartlett French, 74, of Gilford, NH died peacefully at his daughter's home in Gilford, NH on Wednesday, March 6, 2013. He was born on May 18, 1938 in New Boston, NH to Charles E. & Frances Babb French.
He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Barbara; 5 children & spouses, 17 grandchildren, 2 sisters & spouses & nephews; daughter Carolyn French & Ned Witham with children Cedric 17, Charles 15, Noah 14 & Margaret 12; daughter Pamela & Robert Peek with children Thomas 22, William 20 & Andrew 11; daughter Dianne & Phil Stephenson with children Andrea 24, Whitney, 23, Grant 19, Lydia 15 & Nancy 13; daughter Linda & Keith Searle with children Olivia 21 & Dalin Gunnell with the first great-grandchild due in August, Payson 20 & Donovan 13; son Andrew & Molly French with children Jackson 4 & Caelan 2; sister Katie & Brad Colpaert with children Kyle & Gracie; sister Mary & Tim Ealy with children Brandon & Nathan; nephews from deceased sister Nancy & Edward Brooks, Dean, Gary, Jonathan & Timothy.
Mr. French graduated from New Boston High School in 1956, completed a B.S. degree in Forest Management at UNH in 1961, where he served as president of TKE fraternity.
He married Barbara L. Kane of New Boston, NH May 6, 1960. He served in the Army as an artillery officer at Fort Sill, OK and then at Fort Hood, TX from 1961-1963 in the 2nd Armored Division. Following active duty, he served in the 368th Engineer Battalion, an Army Reserve unit in Laconia for 5 years.
He completed a practice teaching program at UNH in 1963 and began a teaching career in September 1963, at Memorial Junior High School in Laconia, NH. He served as President of the Laconia Education Association and was a Vice Principal in Laconia from 1967-1974. He completed a Masters degree in school administration at Plymouth State College and served in a variety of educational positions including science department head, guidance counselor, and team teaching leader.
He also served as president of the Lakes Region Day Care Center, president of the Lakes Region Scholarship Foundation, Chairman of the Administrative Council for the First United Methodist Church, in Gilford, and President of Trout Unlimited, Winnipesaukee Chapter. He was a former registered Fishing Guide in the State of New Hampshire and a Merit Badge Counselor for the local Boy Scouts of America.
Mr. French retired from Gilford Middle High School in 1997 after 34 years of teaching and administration but remained active as a tutor for individual students.
He was a long time dealer in antique and collectible books and fine prints. His interests and pastimes in addition to fly fishing, included: fly tying, nature & family photography, watercolor/oil painting, astronomy, baseball, hawk watching, raising chickens, gardening, and passing on a love for learning to his grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at the First United Methodist Church of Gilford, NH on Saturday, March 30, 2013 at 1:00 pm. There will be a reception immediately after the service.
In lieu of flowers please donate to either the Lakes Region Scholarship Foundation, PO Box 7312, Gilford, NH 03247-7312 or the memorial fund of the First United Methodist Church, PO Box 7408, Gilford, NH 03247. Thank you.