January 24, 1950 - July 1, 2021
Paul French of Dallas, Texas passed away on July 1st of complications from esophageal cancer with his family by his side. He is survived by his wife of 51 yrs, Barbara, a son Paul IV(Rebekkah), a daughter Jennifer, and a grandson, Ryan.
Paul was a lifetime learner. Whether it was camping, sailing, shooting or the Civil War, he dove headfirst into his hobbies.
Growing up, his family moved frequently due to his father’s career. When his family bought a farm, Paul enjoyed self-reliance – understanding the inner workings of equipment so he could fix it, working hard while he learned and achieving in the face of obstacles.
The desire to learn started at an early age. He joined Boy Scouts and began earnestly pursuing his badges. He was recognized with honors like Order of the Arrow, attended the National Jamboree at Valley Forge in 1964 and earned his Eagle Scout. This established a lifetime love of camping and thriving in the outdoors.
While in college he served in the National Guard, then Army Reserves as a tank mechanic, taking the mechanical curiosity he learned on the farm to an industrial level. He also honed his leadership skills, rising to the level of Staff Sergeant during one of the most complicated times in American history.
As his children, Paul IV & Jennifer, grew, he passed on his love of camping and preparation to them – serving as a leader with their Scout and Indian Guide groups. There was nothing that could not be created or repaired with some rope, duct tape and a sharp pocketknife.
Through a local Scout program in Chicago, he developed a passion for sailing, graduating from small 21’ trailerable boats to 33’ open water racing boats. As many know, his focus on details and how things work was perfectly fed by sailing – and his mechanical capabilities were invaluable, as you know if you have ever owned a boat, it is a hole in the water into which you throw money. He sailed for years in a local sailing club in Texas and would laugh at how local sailors would be concerned about choppy water when, after learning to sail on the Great Lakes, to him it was just good sailing!
He was happy to support Barb, his Wife of over 50-years, as she worked with their neighborhood association and music roles in their church.
As a forensic accountant and expert witness in his own practice, and later the firm of Lain Faulkner P.C., he was known for his work over the years in forensic and business valuations, and small business consulting. He created strong friendships through his work relationships – leading to many new opportunities. He helped build several homes with Habitat for Humanity with a group of attorneys in South Dallas and joined in hunting and sharing deer leases in Central Texas. He loved spending weekends in Brady, Improving the land and conditions on the lease. And while he didn’t have as much time to get down there as he would have liked, he would still enjoy a night sleeping under the stars – even if that meant in a tent in his own backyard.
He took great pride in his grandson Ryan’s sporting events and enjoyed puttering trying to create the perfect camping backpack for the eventual trip he looked forward to taking.
A funeral Mass will be held on July 30 at 11:00am at All Saints Catholic Church, 5231 Meadowcreek Drive, Dallas, TX US 75248. Interment will be at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in support of Pancreatic Cancer Research, donations can be made via check made payable to IU Foundation (put Mike Bigelow in the memo line), and mailed to PO Box 7072, Indianapolis, IN 46207-7072 or online at http://go.iu.edu/2xyN