Orrin Luce French, Sr., 84, attorney, businessman, farmer, and resident of Woodstock, passed away Friday, April 22, 2016 at Shenandoah Memorial Hospital. Services will be Tuesday, April 26, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. at the Woodstock United Methodist Church. Burial will follow at Massanutten Cemetery. Reverend Robert Hoskins will officiate.
Orrin was born July 24, 1931 at 255 E. Locust Street in Woodstock, the sixth of eight children of the late Warren B. French, Sr. and Lena Sheetz French. He attended Woodstock Grade School and Woodstock High School, graduating in 1948, and studied for a year at Massanutten Military Academy. In 1949, he enrolled in the University of Virginia, earning a BA in economics in 1953 and going on to graduate from UVA law school in 1956.
After serving in the U.S. Army from 1956-1958, he worked alongside his brother, F. Douglas French, as co-owner of the French Brothers Dairy farming operation. Thereafter, he opened a law office on Lawyers Row, practicing for over 30 years with his partner and friend Kevin Black. He was an active member of the Virginia State Bar for more than 59 years. Among his many civic and community activities, he was a member of the Shenandoah County Bar Association, served as Chairman of the Shenandoah County Electoral Board, held various offices for the Shenandoah County Republican Committee, was an officer and director of the Shenandoah County Fair Association (which he dearly loved), was on the board of First Union National Bank, and was a life-long, dedicated member of Woodstock United Methodist Church. In later years, he greatly enjoyed sitting on the bench as a substitute judge for the Juvenile & Domestic Relations and General District Courts. He utilized his legal skills to assist many non-profit and community organizations, and until his death he loved helping his clients.
Along with his brothers, Warren, Millson, and Douglas, he was also engaged in real estate, business and farming pursuits in Shenandoah County, which he felt was the most beautiful countryside on earth. He loved telling stories, dahlias, eating fresh lobster and stewed tomatoes, the stock market, teasing everyone (especially small children), saying exactly what he thought about anyone and anything, and above all, his large family.
He was preceded in death by 2 brothers, Millson S. French and F. Douglas French. He is survived by his wife, Joyce Ryman French; a daughter, Valerie French Cale and husband David of Harrisonburg; a son, O.L. French, Jr. and wife Shauna of Woodstock; his brother, Warren B. French, Jr. (Pat); sisters Emma Randel, Ellen Fuller, Lena Fuller, and Sally Weber (John); sisters-in-law Doris French and Marian French; and 6 grandchildren, Jacob R. French, Allie, Mary Kate and Nate French, and Carson and Maddie Cale. He was loved as well and will be missed by his many nieces and nephews, cousins and friends.
The family will receive friends at Dellinger Funeral Home in Woodstock on Monday, April 25, 2016 from 6:00-8:00.
Pallbearers will be O. L. French, Jr., Jacob French, and nephews Millson S. French, Jr., Billy French, Timmy French, Christopher French, James Randel, Jr., and Stephen French.
Honorary Pallbearers will be nephews F. Douglas French, Jr., Martin French, and Charles French; Kevin Black, Mike Cook, Terry Kibler, Jackie Lambert, Linda Neff, and members of the Thursday night poker club.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations can be made to the Woodstock United Methodist Church 156 S. Muhlenberg St. Woodstock, Virginia 22664.