January 5, 2020 – Hartford, WI – Louis L French Jr., 86, of Hartford, WI passed away on Thursday January 2, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was born on July 21, 1933 in Flushing, NY to Louis L. and Rita (nee Hefferon) French Sr. He graduated from Central High School in Scranton, PA and Marquette University (School of Business ’58). He was united in marriage to Lois E. French on January 31, 1959, at Mother of Good Counsel Catholic Parish.
He interrupted his college years to serve in the Army as a clerk in Germany. After graduation, his career included years at 7-Up and Fuller Brush, culminating with his retirement from Wisconsin Bell as the Assistant Secretary and Treasurer, after a 30-year tenure with the company. Lou raised his family in Milwaukee, and was deeply involved with school activities at their home parish, Mother of Good Counsel. He was president of the Home and School Association, and was the muscle for Cub Scout candy drives, monthly Boy Scout newspaper drives and mixed nut sales. He was also involved in his community, as the Narrator for the Wisconsin Bell Choir and as a member and Former President of Civitan of Milwaukee.
In early 1992, Lou retired, and with Lois, moved to their home at Pike Lake in Hartford, WI. They became deeply involved members of St. Mary of the Hill Parish. Lou served as an usher, did altar set-up, participated in the prayer chain, attended the monthly mass and luncheons for retirees and served for years on the Administrative Services Committee. He also worked tirelessly at their annual Art Fair and Flea Fair – even yet this year drawing the lines for vendor spaces and parking, and rose at the crack of dawn to make sure everyone got to the right spot. He spent almost thirty years as one of the “Tuesday maintenance guys” at the Tyme Out youth retreat center, fixing, building and painting just about anything Sister Kiernan assigned him to do.
At their home, Lou enjoyed taking others for pontoon boat rides, of course taking along a good brandy manhattan, beef dip and crackers on board. He especially enjoyed traveling annually to Florida in February with Lois to get away from the cold Wisconsin winters. They both enjoyed lake living, watching their children, grandchildren, grandpuppies, and many friends who went swimming, boating, and skiing at their shore.
Lou is survived by his loving children, Louis L. (Chris Singleton) French III of Albuquerque, New Mexico; Paul J. (Lisa) French of West Bend, WI; and Christine M. (Greg) Devine of Janesville, WI; cherished grandchildren, Catherine, Rebecca, Steven and Molly; his dear brother Gilbert, half-brother Charles (Pam) and half-sister Margaret (Al) and his dear sisters-in-law, Joan (Harold) Miller and Carleen (Walter) Eschenbach. He is further survived by many cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. He is preceded in death by his wife Lois, his parents, Louis L. (Rita) French Sr., and parents-in-law Walter J. (Anna) Eschenbach. He is also preceded in death by brothers-in-law Walt and Harold – never have three unrelated men laughed, loved and cared for each other and their families so deeply.
Family and friends will gather for a visitation on Friday, January 10, 2020 from 5-8 p.m. at the Shimon Funeral Home (824 Union Street, Hartford, Wisconsin, 53027). Additional visitation will be held on Saturday, January 11, 2020 from 10-11 a.m. at St Mary’s of the Hill Parish (1515 Carmel Road, Hubertus, WI 53033), followed immediately by the Mass of Resurrection at 11 a.m. with the Rev. Fr. Bonaventure Lussier, OCD, officiating.
Private inurnment in St. Mary of the Hill Cemetery (formerly St. Augustine Cemetery) in Richfield, Wisconsin. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to St. Mary of the Hill Parish, Marquette University or School Sisters of Notre Dame would be welcome.
Family would like to share their sincere gratitude to the nursing team, therapy staff and physicians at the Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin for the wonderful care, support, and concern Lou received during his stay.