Forrest (Jim) French
Services for Forrest (Jim) French, of Copperas Cove will be 11am Thursday August 29, 2019 at Holy Family Catholic Church. Burial will follow at 1:00pm at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen.
On Thursday, August 22, 2019, Forrest J. French, loving husband and a great father of six children, passed away at the age of 84. He has been reunited in Heaven with his son, Sean French, and many other loved ones.
Jim was dedicated to his family and his greatest enjoyment was when all the family was together. The family parties were loud, crowded, filled with laughter and competitions. He was very proud of serving his country for 20 years in the military. He was profound in his faith in serving God and his son, Jesus Christ, and supporting the Holy Family Catholic Church. He was highly engaged in serving the local community in many capacities. Jim was a truly great man.
Jim was born April 9, 1935 in Ft Monroe, Virginia to Forrest J. and Dorothy French. He received his degree from West Point in 1956. Also, in 1956, he graduated from Airborne and Ranger school. From 1957-1960, he was stationed in Germany at the 11th Airborne. He received his master’s degree in Math at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in New York. Jim was an instructor of math at West Point from 1961-1964. He was part of the 11th Airborne in Korea in 1964. In 1967, he was an instructor at the English Language School at Lackland AFB. He fought in the Vietnam War with the 25th Infantry. In 1969, he was stationed at Fort Bragg with the 82nd Airborne/18th Airborne Corp. Jim was then stationed at Ft Hood, where he was at HQ master. After 20 years of service, Jim then retired in 1976 as a Lieutenant Colonel. His many medals include a Purple Heart, Bronze Star with one oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with one oak leaf clusters, Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Army Commendation with Valor device and Combat Infantryman Badge.
Along with his years of service, Jim was a member of the Holy Family Catholic Church since 1972, where he was a lector and a reader. In 1976, he continued to serve his church by joining the Knights of Columbus, while also joining the Copperas Cove Exchange Club. While participating in the City Council from 1977-1985, Jim had many roles, such as overseeing planning and rezoning. He then was elected Mayor of Copperas Cove in 1985. After his 5- year term as Mayor, Jim then went on to become the Chamber of Commerce Director from 1990-1992, as well as EDC CEO from 1992-1994. Along with his multiple civic duties, Jim was apart of the Coryell County Appraisal District, Military Affairs Committee, and the West Point Association of Graduates. He was awarded Veteran of the Year in 2019 by Veterans Helping Veterans.
Jim is survived by his lovely wife of 57 years, Janie Weyman French. His son, Jim French, wife Renita, grand children Brianna and Alyssa. His daughters Janie Sellers, husband Dwayne and grandchildren Janie and Josh; Sharon Tabor, husband Joe and grandchildren Ashley and great grandchildren, Carson, Christian and Adalynn; Lorraine Thomas, husband Steve and grandchildren Kaitlyn and Ryan; and Liz Hays, husband Pat and grandchildren Michael and Mikayla.
Visitation and rosary will be 5:30-7:30pm Wednesday August 28, 2019 at Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home in Copperas Cove.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to these wonderful organizations:
Star Group – Veterans Helping Veterans
202 S. 4th St, Copperas Cove, TX 76522
Click on the “Donate” button on the right side of web page or
Holy Family Catholic Church
1001 Georgetown Rd, Copperas Cove, TX 76522
Click on the “eGiving ~ Online Donations” button or