Lawrence “Owen” French

By | July 24, 2019
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Lawrence “Owen” French, age 93 years, passed away peacefully at his “Columbus home” surrounded by his family on the morning of Saturday, July 20, 2019.  Owen was born on Sept. 20, 1925, in Middleport, Ohio, to parents Clyde and “Etta” French. Owen relocated to Jackson, Ohio, in 1939, and began his freshman year at Jackson High School (JHS). He played trombone in the JHS Marching Band, and graduated from JHS with the Class of 1943.

Owen was drafted into the U.S. Army in World War II, and reported for duty on Dec. 31, 1943. He served in active duty as a sergeant in the 4172nd Quartermaster Depot Company in the U.S. Army, both in the U.S.A. and in Manila, Philippines, until April 23, 1946, when he was honorably discharged. Owen then returned to Jackson in 1946, to join his father in the family business, French Cleaners. He graduated from The National Institute of Dyers and Cleaners in Washington, D.C., in 1949, then returned to that same institute in 1950 and 1951, and completed the management program. Following the death of his father in 1957, Owen continued to operate French Cleaners until 1978, when he retired and closed the dry cleaning business.

Owen was initially a member of the First Christian Church of Middleport, and then a member of The Jackson Christian Church, where he married the love of his life, Patricia Ann Palmer, on Aug. 26, 1951, and also served as a deacon, an elder, and chairman of the board. Owen was also a member of the American Legion for 25 years, and also served as a member of the military honor guard, performing gun salutes at military funerals, for most of his life.

In addition to his parents, Owen was preceded in death by his older sister, Glenna Ruth French, who died at age 2.5 years, and his younger brother, Ralph Curtis French, who died on Aug. 16, 2018.

He is survived by his wife of almost 68 years, Patricia “Patty” Palmer French; his two daughters, Jennifer Ann Yunker (Doug) and Michelle French Sweeney (Joseph); as well as five grandchildren, Christopher Douglas Yunker (Emily), Jacqueline Ann Yunker, Brendan Joseph Sweeney, Bethany Ann Yunker, and Cailin Michelle Sweeney; as well as one great-granddaughter, Peyton Elizabeth Yunker.

The light of Owen’s life was his family, and he constantly showed us, his family, and everyone who knew him, the magnitude of his love. We are comforted by knowing that he is watching over us now, as always, and we look forward to seeing him again in our heavenly home, where he will greet us all with his gentle spirit and his warm smile, and embrace us with his open, loving arms.

A celebration of Owen’s life will be held on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, at 2 p.m. at The Jackson Christian Church, 102 Broadway Street in Jackson.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Owen’s memory to either the American Diabetes Association or the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Mayhew-Brown Funeral Home and Southern Ohio Cremation Services in Jackson. Condolences may be sent to