Joe French, 82, a former Crookston resident passed away on Tuesday, August 9, 2022, with his loving family gathered at his bedside.
Joseph Victor French was born in Drayton, North Dakota on February 19, 1940. He was the fifth of nine children. He attended and graduated from school in Oakwood, North Dakota in 1958. He farmed with his dad and brothers. On June 22, 1959, he married Judy Molde from Grafton, North Dakota. They were blessed with four children. They were married for 37 years before Judy died of breast cancer on July 30, 1996. Joe and Judy moved to Crookston in February 1957. Joe was starting a new job at Fert-L-Flow. A few years later he started his own company, Poly-Phos.
Joe was very active in the community. He was an active member of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, served on the Crookston City Council, was a member of the Jaycees, Knights of Columbus and Blue Line Club. He was instrumental in getting the old “new” arena built. Both Joe and Judy loved hockey. Joe coached for some of his son’s hockey teams in youth hockey. He was very proud of all four of his children and supported them in all their activities. Joe was a wonderful husband, dad, grandpa, brother and uncle.
He always treated everyone with respect and was a friend to so many. Joe loved to travel and took his family on many adventures. Even through snow storms to get to hockey games. Joe and Judy moved to Minneapolis in September 1988 after raising their family in Crookston and their youngest son’s, Nathan’s graduation. Joe suffered from dementia these last few years. Through it all he never lost his sense of humor, his wonderful smile and warmth for all who cared for him.
Joe will be lovingly remembered and sadly missed by his four children and their spouses: Monica and Gordie Terpstra of Crookston, Jill and Dave Graebner of Lake Elmo, Monte and Erin French of Woodbury and Nathan and Trace French of Savage. His 12 grandchildren also have wonderful memories of Grandpa Joe: Whitney (Tyler) Jarnst, Taylor (Erin) Terpstra and Morgan Terpstra, Sam (Ellen) Graebner, Molly (Danny) Bender, and Mary Graebner, Montgomery, Loren, Josh and Ella French, Kayli (Kodi) Dankers and Tanner French. Joe also had four great-grandchildren: Tucker, Corbin, and Parker Jarnot and Gwen Terpstra. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Saint Ambrose Church in Woodbury, Tuesday, August 23 at 11:00 a.m.