Forrest (Jim) French
April 9, 1935 – August 22, 2019
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 Wehmann 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 Lyons, husband Anthony and great grandchildren, Carson, Christian and Adalynn; Lorraine Thomas, husband Steve and grandchildren Kaitlyn and Ryan; and Elizabeth 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 https://www.stargroup-veteranshelpingveterans.org/home/ Click on the “Donate” button on the right side of web page or Call 254-238-8204
Holy Family Catholic Church 1001 Georgetown Rd, Copperas Cove, TX 76522 https://hf-cc.org/ Click on the “eGiving ~ Online Donations” button or Call 254-547-3735
- Janie Weyman French, Wife
- Jim French, Son
- Renita French, Daughter-in-law
- Janie Sellers, Daughter
- Dwayne Sellers, Son-in-law
- Sharon Tabor, Daughter
- Joe Tabor, Son-in-law
- Lorraine Thomas, Daughter
- Steve Thomas, Son-in-law
- Liz Hays, Daughter
- Pat Hays, Son-in-law
Brianna, Alyssa, Janie, Josh, Ashley, Kaitlyn, Ryan, Michael, and Mikayla
Carson, Christian, and Adalynn
- Visitation Wednesday, August 28, 2019
- Funeral Service Thursday, August 29, 2019
- Burial Thursday, August 29, 2019
Forrest (Jim) French
September 1, 2019
I was so sorry to hear of Jim's passing. My Jim passed away on August 18th and his service was August 30th at Central Texas Veterans Cemetery also. Both of our Jims were 84 years of age and lived a long & full life. My heartfelt sympathies to you and your family at this time.
August 31, 2019
Back when I was Lu Grabowski, I was a next door neighbor to the French family for about 10 year total. Theirs was the most welcoming home that I have seen before or since. I remember going over to the house to be there to let people in before a party while Jim and Janie were busy at a church affair or civic function which would conclude at their home. Jim was so very smart and could discuss anything with anyone, an all round great guy. I'm very sad about his passing but know that God got a good one up there.
Amy Townsend Nelson
August 29, 2019
Mrs. J. French, Lorraine and family,
My heart and prayers go out to each of you as you grieve the loss of your husband, dad, grandpa, uncle, cousin, etc.
I have fond memories of Mr. French always smiling.
Know that I will be bathing you in prayers of His comfort, peace, support and love as you naturally grieve your deep loss.
(Friend of Lorraine’s from CCHS/basketball)
De Miller Green
August 28, 2019
We already miss you! Thank you for being a huge part of our lives the past 26 years we’ve known you. Love you then, love you now. (Whose gonna buy the guys a beer at the knights now??!!!)
August 26, 2019
From the MacDonald Family to the Jim French Family, May peace be with you.
August 26, 2019
Dear Mrs French and Family,
My family and I would like to extend our deepest condolences, thoughts and prayers, to you and the family. Mr. French is a true soldier and hero, who Loved and lived with such strong faith in God . He will truly be missed. I was so glad to be able to see his infectious smile recently and am glad I got to see him enjoy himself with other church members of Holy Family Church.
Thank you for your service and May God Bless You,
The Schwab Family, Killeen Texas
August 26, 2019
To Mrs French & Family,
Me and my wife along with Star Group-Veterans Helping Veterans members sends our deepest condolences to you and your family, we have truly lost a GREAT MAN and he will be missed. We will continue to pray for you and your family. I will give your family the space and time you need, but again thanks for allowing our family to be apart of his wonderful life. Prayers Always goes up and Blessings come down. I'll call you in the next couple of days to check on you and the family until then be Blessed.
Deacon David and Sharon Cardona
August 24, 2019
Dear Janie and Family,
Our hearts join yours in sorrow, our faith joins yours in knowing your beloved Jim is with Jesus for eternity, and our smiles through tears join yours as we think of the oh so many memories of him! Love in Christ, Sharon & David (Florida)