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John Brand French

November 8, 1929 November 21, 2018
John  Brand French
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Obituary for John Brand French

John Brand French died quietly at his home in Lincoln, MA, as he wished, on November 21, 2018 at the age of 89. Jack was known widely for his energy, good judgment, and open, generous spirit.

He was born in Springfield, MA, on November 8, 1929 to the late Alden and Eleanor Brand French. Jack graduated from Williams College in 1951 and married Deborah Cole in June of that year. After graduating, he enlisted in the Navy, where he served on a destroyer and enjoyed teaching at the U.S. Navy Fleet Sonar School in Key West, FL.

Jack graduated from Harvard Law School in 1957 and developed a distinguished career practicing corporate, business, and estate law in Boston for over 50 years, most recently as partner at Sullivan and Worcester.

He served as Board Chairman and Trustee of the Boston Biomedical Research Institute, a Director of the Conservation Law Foundation, and President and Trustee at the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln MA. Jack was especially dedicated to the Town of Lincoln and served the town in many roles throughout his life including as member of the Conservation Commission, the School Committee, as an Assessor, Library Committee member, and for sixteen years as the Town Moderator.

Jack and Deb spent many summers on Vinalhaven, ME, where they took great pleasure creating a summer place on the site of an abandoned granite quarry. They loved the exceptional beauty of the island, they loved the island community, and they loved to be on the water sailing. Jack became an avid woodworker producing wonderful furniture which he often gave as gifts.

Jack’s family loved him for his engaging and cheerful nature. He is remembered by Deborah, his wife of 67 years, son John Jr. (wife Olga Zizich) of Ellicott City MD, daughter Lindsay (husband Peter O’Neill) of Providence RI, daughter Hilary (husband Christopher Foster) of Wayland MA, son Stratton (wife Julie Henderson), of Calais, VT, seven grandchildren who affectionately called him Jeefer: Danya, Karina, Piper, Ian, Alec, Lyle, and Eli, step-grandchildren Jason, Daniel, Alice and Claire, and his extended family of Frenches and Coles. He was a family man. He is preceded in death by three brothers, Peter, Alden Jr, and Hollis, and an infant grandson Corbin.

Family and friends are invited to gather for his memorial service at the First Parish, 4 Bedford Road, Lincoln, on Sunday, December 16th at 2 pm with a reception to follow at the Pierce House, 17 Weston Road, Lincoln. Additional parking is available at the Pierce House with shuttle service available to and from the church. Burial at Lincoln Cemetery is private.

If you wish, donations in Jacks memory may be sent to the Conservation Law Foundation ( Condolences may be sent to PO Box 6303, Lincoln Center, MA, 01773 or to the Dee Funeral Home (

Arrangements are under the care of Dee Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Concord.

Previous Events

Memorial Service




2:00 PM 12/16/2018 2:00:00 PM
First Parish in Lincoln

4 Bedford Road
Lincoln, MA 01773

First Parish in Lincoln
4 Bedford Road Lincoln 01773 MA
United States

Cemetery Details


Lincoln Cemetery Final Resting Place

Lexington Road
Lincoln, MA 01773

Lexington Road Lincoln 01773 MA
United States

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