Millson Sheetz French, Sr.

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.

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11 Condolences to Millson Sheetz French, Sr.

  1. Bret and Cathy Kennedy says:

    So sorry to hear of the passing of Mr. French. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. Mr. French has been a great friend and mentor to so many over the years and will be missed by all. God bless the family and give them strength.

  2. Wanda Shipp Marshburn says:

    So sorry to hear that Mr French passed away. He was the first to take a chance on this 16 year old for my first job behind the soda fountain. What a great boss and mentor. Working at Walton and Smoot with him was about friends and family and being there for the local community. I still often think about how he led and use those qualities as I lead young people. I just wonder how many young teenagers are out there that he gave their first chance to. Thank you and God bless you Mr. French. My prayers and thoughts are with his great family.
    Wanda Marshburn

  3. Keith Brill says:

    I want to express my condolences to the family of Millson French, who will long be remembered for his professional service to the community as a pharmacist. Beyond that, his activities in civic affairs and his church stand as a lasting legacy. He will be missed.

  4. Jay Hepner says:

    So sorry to hear about Millson’s passing. He was a wonderful person and will be greatly missed.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.
    Jay Hepner

  5. Ben Freakley Jr says:

    My grandfather taught me so many things. The biggest of which is family. Every time I would come home to Woodstock, my best memories involve coming together as a family. Weather it be to eat, tell stories, celebrate a birthday or socialize at the drug store, Hardees or McDonalds, my grandfather loved being around people. He loved to hear their stories as much as he loved to tell his stories…and jokes. His sense of humor was only out shined by his sense of generosity. He helped me out of debt when I was 20 years old and never said another word about it. He probably helped others too an never knew it since he carried so much cash that it would be falling out of his pocket everywhere he went! It drove grandmother crazy. He loved his family. He loved people. He loved the land and he loved Woodstock. I have never known a man to love his town and community more than my grandfather. I am lucky to be his grandson and will miss him very much.

  6. Amelia Richard Mowery says:

    So sorry to hear that Mr. French passed away. Praying for the whole family. While working for Mr. French I learned a lot and I’m very thankful for the time that I spent at Walton & Smoot. He was a very special person. God Bless.

    Amelia Mowery

  7. Anonymous says:

    Your family is in our thoughts and prayers.

    Don & Sue Staubus

    Rodney Staubus

    Jeff, Becky Sue, Braden, & Grayson Henry

  8. Johnny Garber says:

    I am so sorry to hear about Millson. He was a great person to work for and I appreciate him giving me my first job as a pharmacist. He was always friendly, calm, and willing to help anybody and will be missed. Mt sympathy goes out to the entire French family.

  9. George Bowers says:

    To all the members of the Millson French family, please know you are in our thoughts and prayers. He leaves a wonderful legacy behind in all the members of his family. May God be with you during this time. George and Nancy Bowers and family

  10. John & Toia Middleton says:

    Our deepest sympathy for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
    His kindness will never be forgotten.
    I enjoyed getting to know him.
    Enjoyed his stories.

    His devotion to his wife was unmatched.

    He will forever be missed.

    The Middletons

  11. Norman & Mary Blue Catlett says:

    Our deepest sympathy to Millson’s family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.