Herbert Gary French

24 November , 193930 January , 2019
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FRENCH, H. Gary After a brief but intense fight with Cancer, Gary passed away and was promoted to Glory, at the age of 79, at Grand River Hospital in Kitchener, ON, January 30th 2019. He began his life in Peterborough on November 24th 1939 with his parents Bert and Elizabeth French. Not long after his birth, they moved to Cambridge (Galt) where they joined the Cambridge Salvation Army Church. He graduated from Galt Collegiate Institute (GCI) and soon after married his first wife Jean (nee Borgal), who passed away in 1988. Gary worked at Dominion Woollens and then Cambridge Towel until he retired. Gary was a very active member of the Salvation Army, serving on the senior census board, playing the drums in the Citadel Band and adding his baritone voice to the Songsters. He was also very involved with the cancer society, where he would help with driving cancer patients to and from their doctor and hospital visits. But above all he was a devoted family man. Gary was the beloved husband of Mary (nee French), his second wife, with whom he would have celebrated his 30th anniversary this May. He was the loving father of two daughters, Rhonda and her husband Rafael Pena, and Lisa and her husband Robert Savoie; Grandfather, also known as “Papa”, to five adoring grandchildren, Emily, Olivia, Matthew, Brandon and Sheldon and brother of Major Glenda Mackenzie and her husband Major Bob Mackenzie. It is safe to say that he touched everyone who knew him, whether it was just for the day, or an entire life time. He was a role model and a friend, a neighbour and a caring soul. He always put others first, and would never think twice about lending a helping hand. He inspired everyone around him to be better, with is generosity and his kindness. He was a great man, and a beloved child of God. He will be truly missed by family, church and the community. Family and friends will be received at Coutts Funeral Home, 96 St. Andrews Street, Cambridge (519-621-1650) on Sunday, February 3rd from 6 – 8 p.m. and on Monday February 4th from 7 – 9 p.m. The Funeral Service will be held on Tuesday February 5th at 7 p.m. at the Salvation Army, 16 Shade Street Cambridge. The family requests that in lieu of flowers (for allergy reasons) donations may be made to the Salvation Army, the Canadian Cancer Society and the Alzheimer’s Society. Links to donation sites are below:


  • Visitation Sunday, 3 February , 2019
  • Visitation Monday, 4 February , 2019
  • Funeral Service Tuesday, 5 February , 2019
  • Reception to follow the Funeral Service Tuesday, 5 February , 2019

Herbert Gary French

have a memory or condolence to add?

Tracy Simpson

3 February 2019

Dear Rhonda and family,

My sincere condolences on the loss of your Dad. May cherished memories of your time together bring you some comfort at this very difficult time. I shall always remember your Dad from our time together at Galt Collegiate Institute.

Tracy (nee Kidd)

Ian French

3 February 2019

Janet and I have many fond memories of Gary with his calm engaging style. Just last August we were privileged to meet him and Mary at David and Emily's wedding. I recall him wanting a rest and going for a lie down in George Howie's car and then getting locked in. We all had a chuckle about this and so did he.
Gary was one of the "good guys", easy to talk to and engaging on numerous levels.
He was a man of faith and we are glad to have been able to be part of this life journey.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time.
Ian and Janet French

Marilyn Hovinga

3 February 2019

Condolences to Lisa & all the family. It's been 20+ years since we've lost touch, but I remember your Dad/Grandparent's at Puslinch when we gathered together. It is a sad time to say good-bye to someone that is so loved and will be missed. Memories/stories and time will ease the loss you're experiencing at this time. It does bring comfort to know that this is a new beginning for him in eternity and that there will be a great heavenly reunion one day.

Nadean & Larry Caulfield (née Borgal)

2 February 2019

Family and friends,

May the constant love of caring friends and family soften your sadness, may cherished memories bring you moments of comfort and may lasting peace surrounds your grieving hearts.

We trust that the happy memories you have of Gary will console you for a life time.

Harvey Pilgrim

2 February 2019

To Mary, Lisa, Rhonda , Glenda and families;

Saddened and shocked to hear of Gary’ssudden passing. He will be greatly missed by all who were privileged to know him. Donna and I have wonderful,lasting memories of a kind,,generous and sincere gentleman who loved his Lord and exhibited the marks of a true soldier of The Salvation Army. During our six years ,as Corps Officers at Cambridge Citadel, he was a real source of encouragement and support. It was our joy to commission him as CSM , a position he held for many years and served with passion and committment . He was a true friend whom it was and honour to know. He is now at peace and home at last..

Harvey and Donna Pilgrim (Majors)

Kevin Ketteringham

2 February 2019

Gary was my first drum teacher. The patience and encouragement he showed towards me helped me start down a path that has led to many opportunities I never could have imagined. Sending thoughts and prayers for his family and friends.

Major Ted Percy

2 February 2019

Dear Mary and your family. Phyllis and I were so sorry to hear the news of your loss of Gary. We do want you to be assured of our love and prayers at this special time. We all know Gary's Promotion To Glory is telling us he is now in the presence of his Lord whom he loved and served so faithfully. We have such happy memories of our stay in Cambridge and our lasting friendship with Gary and yourself. Gary, like his parents, Bert & Elizabeth before him has left a legacy of faithfulness for us all to follow. God bless you and may His peace possess you and His grace enrich you.
Ted & Phyllis Percy

Derek & June Patton

2 February 2019

Having read many fine tributes already, my wife June & I have felt like family-sharing life's experiences together. It was in 1999 and we had come to live in Cambridge. There was a festival of choirs at Central Presbyterian Church and that's where we met- an informal setting. It so happened that soon after that we had plans to visit Scotland and our dates coincided. We planned to spend an evening together at the McTavish Restaurant in Oban. Thereafter, we had many visits in each other's homes and we enjoyed evening services at the Salvation Army in addition to outdoors summer services at The Millrace. We four, shared times of 'manning' the kettles at Zehrs and we mustn't forget the SA breakfasts each month at Galtview Restaurant (for men only.) We shared the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and 'felt' we were (and still will be) family to Mary who is so kind and considerate. We long for that wonderful "Promoted to Glory" Salvationists have and beyond that in Heaven-singing our hearts out-such songs as O Boundless Salvation. Thank you Gary (and Mary) for including us. Derek and June Patton

Larry White

2 February 2019

Mary and family, and Glenda and Bob
I didn't know Gary as long and personally as you, but i felt i knew him when I boarded with his parents, after my mother was Promoted to Glory in 1962.
Both of Elizabeth and Bert continually talked about Gary, and how well he was doing with his studies and work.
I also remember Gary's kindness when I visited Cambridge in the Fall of 1990 with our band, Edmonton Temple.
Gary was kind enough to take me out to the Outlet Shop, where i was able to purchase some Towels and other things that I promised my wife i would bring back home with me.
Mary our thoughts and prayers are with you particuarly. May God Confort and keep you, the children, and grandchildren.
Glenda, we trust God will be your strength and comfort at this difficult time.

Lynn & Steve Baker (Haskell)

2 February 2019

Mary, Rhonda & Family, Lisa & Family,

We are thinking of you at this time.

Your dad was a good friend to the Haskell’s over the years. This continued with him taking an interest in my children at the Corps.

My favourite memory will be your dad always setting a step stool by the pulpit for my son to use to reach the microphone, any time my son participated in a service. (I think there may even have been something mentioned about smaller guys sticking together.)