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M. Russell “Russ” French

M. Russell “Russ” French, 75, of Milford, Del., died Jan. 23, 2019.

With a keen wit and considerable wisdom, Russell French lived a full and blessed life that ended with his bride of 53 years holding his hand. 

Russell was born in Milford Memorial Hospital April 10, 1943, and passed away at the Delaware Hospice Center in Milford after a brave and brief struggle with cancer.

Russell was born to Dorothy Sipple and Charles Pennewill French, and attended Wesley College as well as the University of Delaware. 

He married his high school sweetheart, Beverly Gail Argo, in 1965. The two celebrated their 58th “going steady” anniversary just three days before his death. 

Russell and Beverly had two children, Gailynn Gaye and Chadd Russell, along with eight grandchildren: Noah, Emma, Seth, Nicholas, Madeleine, Macy, Rebecca and David.

He retired at age 54 after a 31-year career with Kraft Foods (General Foods) with 28 of those years in White Plains, N.Y. He worked in accounting, finance and facilities management.

Russell served his country proudly with three years in the Delaware National Guard and three in the U.S. Army Reserve.

A member of Avenue United Methodist Church, he served as president of the trustees. He was also the treasurer of the Milford Memorial Hospital Auxiliary as well as a board member. He was the director for the Friends of the Delaware Archives and volunteered as the area coordinator for the AARP Tax Aide Services. 

He and Beverly completed master gardener training and certification under the University of Delaware Ag Extension service. The two also loved traveling and playing cards with their friends. Though he enjoyed all of his activities, Russell was passionate about his genealogical research and had compiled a family tree with over 50,000 names. 

A well-loved and respected man, Russell treasured time with his friends, family and particularly with his grandchildren. His brilliant humor had even hospice workers and family giggling through his final hours. 

His parents, Charles and Dorothy French; his brother, Raymond Bennett French; and his in-laws, Harry Russell Argo and Margaret Ruth Donovan, preceded him in death.

Survivors include his beloved wife, Beverly; his children Gailynn (Walter) and Chadd (Amy) and his eight grandchildren. 

Funeral services were held at 1 p.m. Jan. 28 at Avenue United Methodist Church, 20 N. Church St., Milford, Del. Burial followed in Milford Community Cemetery.

The family received friends from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the church.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Avenue U.M. Church, 20 N. Church St., Milford, Del. 19963, or Delaware Hospice, 100 Patriots Way, Milford, Del. 19963. 

Berry-Short Funeral Home of Milford, Del. was in charge of the arrangements.