Millson Sheetz French, Sr., life-long resident of Woodstock, business-owner, farmer, World War II Navy Veteran and, above all, a loving and generous husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, died at Shenandoah Memorial Hospital Friday, October 2, 2015.
A funeral service will be held at Woodstock United Methodist Church on Tuesday, October 6, 2015 at 11:00am. The Reverend Robert Hoskins will officiate. Burial will follow at Massanutten Cemetery. Pallbearers will be his grandsons Charles French, Jr., Stuart Freakley, Andrew Freakley, David Lambert and Stephen French, Jr. and nephews William French, Sr., Timmy French, Christopher French and Orrin French, Jr. Honorary pallbearers will be members of the McDonald’s Early Morning Coffee Club and close friend Ernest Henry. Visitation will be Monday, October 5, 2015 from 6:00pm – 9:00pm at Dellinger’s Funeral Home in Woodstock.
Millson was born May 1, 1924 to Warren Ballinger and Lena Sheetz French in Woodstock. He was the second of eight children.
His schooling included graduating from Woodstock High School in 1940 and Massanutten Military Academy in 1941. After attending Roanoke College he eventually earned his pharmacy degree from Medical College of Virginia in Richmond in 1952. Immediately upon returning home to Woodstock he became an owner of Walton & Smoot Drugstore where he established a trusting and highly-respected relationship with both the medical community and his customers.
He was a member of the Virginia Pharmacists Association, the Peter Muhlenberg American Legion Post 199, Woodstock United Methodist Church and McDonald’s Early Morning Coffee Club.
Millson’s loving stewardship of the land as a farmer and gardener was a central joy in his life and a legacy he has passed on to his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. His most remarkable qualities were his devotion to his family, his loyalty to friends and, most notably, his charity, which – given his humble nature – was often known only by the recipients of his generosity.
He is survived by his wife of nearly 68 years, Doris Funkhouser French, and five children and their spouses, Millson French, Jr. and Bonnie, Charles French and Deborah, Susan Freakley and Ben, Stephen French and Abby and Rebecca Lambert and Greg.
He is survived by sixteen grandchildren and spouses, Charles French, Jr. and Kitra, Benjamin Freakley, Jr. and Melissa, Sarah French, Stuart Freakley and Katie, Emily French Kenny and Sean, William Freakley and Caitlin, Olivia French, Nancy Lambert Miller and Brent, Bethany French Robinson and Sam, David Lambert and Becca, Samuel Freakley and Melissa, Andrew Freakley, Stephen French, Jr., John French, Michael French, Isabelle French and step-grandson Tracy Rusher and Holly.
He is also survived by 19 great-grandchildren, Gracen Hottle, Kenzie Miller, Benjamin Freakley III, Daniel Freakley, Maggie Miller, Connor Freakley, Natalie Lambert, Anna Freakley, William Freakley, Jr., Hailey Robinson, Luke Miller, Andie Miller, Oliver Lambert, Lila Freakley, James Robinson, Quay French, Millson N. French, Ella Kenny, Caroline Freakley and step-great-granddaughters Kyli Rusher, Bryton Rusher and Tinleigh Rusher.
He was predeceased by his brother Douglas; surviving siblings and spouses are Warren French Jr. and Pat, Emma Randel, Ellen Fuller, Orrin French and Joyce, Lena Fuller, Sally Weber and John, sisters-in-law Marian French, Mildred Kohlman and brother-in-law Guy Baker. He was loved as well by his many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Memorial contributions can be made to Woodstock United Methodist Church at 156 South Muhlenberg Street, Woodstock, VA 22664 and Luke’s Backpack at PO Box 132, Toms Brook, VA 22660.