Ben Cecil French, 97, of Maretburg passed away early on August 17, 2021, at his residence that he shared with his wife of 75 years, Geraldine Durham French. Ben & Geraldine celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary on July 27, 2021. Born on August 3, 1924, he was the fourth child of Rollie & Betty Browning French. Ben was born in his family home, located between Powder Mill Branch and White Oak Branch, which flowed a short distance into Horse Lick Creek.
He is preceded in death by his beloved eldest daughter Vincenta French Howard, son-in-law, Larry Montgomery Howard, three sisters Anglia French (died in infancy), Orean French Kiefer Bussell; Pauline French Sturgill Blevins; 2 brothers Perry French & Earl French.
He is survived by his wife Geraldine Durham French, daughter Benedetta French Stilwell, son-in-law Brian David Stilwell, and two grandchildren Tanya Vincenta Stilwell and Benjamin Brian Stilwell.
Ben French spent his life working hard to provide for family and was proud to be an U.S. Army veteran. He started delivering mail at 16 years old, via horseback at Horse Lick Creek; a daily 34-mile trek. He signed up for the United States Army at 18 and served our country during World War II in the 21st Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division in the South Pacific. He earned rank of Sergeant, Master of Scouts, 3 Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart. He retired from Parker Seal in 1979, but his true passion was working the farm, fields, baling hay and raising cattle.
Ben French was a long-time member of Maretburg Baptist church where he served as a deacon. He truly loved life and wanted to participate in all aspects right up until passing.
Ben Cecil French was an exemplary man, member of the “Greatest Generation,” and a devoted husband, father, and grandfather “Papa.” He will be very much missed from this Earth but remembered lovingly forever.
Visitation for Ben French will be Thursday, August 19th, 2021, from 6-9pm at the Marvin E. Owens Home for Funerals. Funeral service will be held Friday, August 20th, 2021, at 1pm at the Marvin E. Owens Home for Funerals with Bro. Wayne Harding officiating. Burial will follow in the Maretburg Cemetery.
Condolences may be made at www.marvineowensfuneralhome.com
To send flowers to Ben's family, please visit our floral store.