Dr. Yvonne French

Dr. Yvonne FrenchDr. Yvonne French passed peacefully at 8:22 a.m. on November 10, 2017, in Wilton, CT, from complications of Alzheimer’s disease, at age 83.  She was born in Cincinnati, OH, and grew up in Covington, KY, the daughter of Ann and stepdaughter of Ben Lairson. ]

After graduating from Holmes High School, Yvonne worked as a stenographer in Washington, DC.  There, her brother Paul introduced her to Wilbur (Bill) French, whom she married in 1954.  They lived in Champaign, IL; Riverside, CA, and Mainz, Germany, before settling in Baton Rouge, LA, in 1964. Yvonne earned her Ph.D. in Science Education from Louisiana State University in 1972, then taught Chemistry, Biology, Physics and general science at Episcopal High School from 1972-1991, ultimately retiring as Chairman of the Science Department. She was named Outstanding Chemistry Teacher of the Year by the American Chemical Society in 1989. 

In 1991, following the passing of her husband, Yvonne moved to Bahrain as head of the Science Department at the U.S. Department of Defense Dependent School. She returned to the U.S. in 1997, living in Baton Rouge, LA, and Charlottesville, VA, before moving to Seagrove Beach, FL.  In 2009, she moved to Wilton, CT.

Yvonne is survived by son Brent French of Charlottesville, VA; daughter Angelica French Carey of South Salem, NY; stepdaughter Jacque French Baker of Dallas, TX; siblings Jim Henry of Clearwater, FL; Linda McInnes of Queensland, Australia, and David Lairson of Houston, TX; and four beloved grandchildren: Lindsey, Alexander, Liliana and Camille. She was predeceased by husband Wilbur French of Baton Rouge, LA; son James French of Ocala, FL; granddaughter Whitney French of Charlottesville, VA; sister Johanna Ruhl of Charlotte, NC, and brother Paul Lairson of San Francisco, CA.

Yvonne was dedicated to her family, friends and students worldwide. She is remembered for her adventurous spirit and positive outlook. She met all challenges with intelligence, determination and a sense of humor.

Friends and family will gather on Saturday, November 18, 2017 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon at Kane Funeral Home, 25 Catoonah Street, Ridgefield, CT. A prayer service will take place at 11:30 a.m. at the funeral home. Interment will be private.

The family is grateful for the heartfelt care Yvonne received at The Greens at Cannondale in Wilton, CT. In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations to the “Cure Alzheimer's Fund” in loving memory of Yvonne: https://curealz.org/in-memory/yvonne-french.

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Jowdy Kane and Kane Funeral Homes