William S. French Sr.

SCARBOROUGH - Bill French lived his life with enthusiasm, purpose and endless optimism for as long as he was able. His loved ones bid him a fond farewell on Saturday, March 9, 2019. He was born in Providence, R.I. on Aug. 13, 1932, to Virginia and Carl G. French. The family moved to Bath in 1942 and then to Portland. He graduated from Deering High School and attended Dartmouth College. Most of his working years were as executive director for the Maine Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society. After retiring early, he also did community counseling and was a business owner. He was also proud of his work in the early days of the Civil Rights movement, when he worked with the local NAACP. He was a lifelong supporter of social justice. In his free time, Bill raced sports cars and enjoyed swimming, boating, kayaking, snowmobiling and entertaining family and friends. An enthusiastic traveler, he explored both the United States and Europe. He was always up for a new adventure! Bill was predeceased by his loving wife of 59 years, Laura.He is survived by his children, Brenda French and her partner, Russ Pierson, Bill French Jr. and his wife, Pam and Sandy Michaud and her husband, Tim; grandchildren, Tom Kelley and his fiancée, Kari Cowperthwaite, Nicole Kelley and Sarah French; as well as great-grandchild, Ada Kelley. Bill is also survived by his devoted partner of seven years, Carol Holt. Bill was a long time member of Unity of Greater Portland. A celebration of Bill's life will be held at Unity, 54 River Road, Windham, on Saturday, March 30, at 2 p.m.In lieu of flowers, donations to Unity of Greater Portland would be gratefully received.

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Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on Mar. 17, 2019