Obituary: Yvonne M. French Ph.D., 83, formerly of Wilton

Dr. Yvonne French passed peacefully at 8:22 a.m. on November 10, 2017, in Wilton, CT, from complications of Alzheimer’s disease, at age 83.

She was born in Cincinnati, OH, and grew up in Covington, KY, daughter of Ann and stepdaughter of Ben Lairson.

A graduate of Holmes High School, Yvonne worked as a stenographer in Washington, DC. She married Wilbur (Bill) French in 1954. They lived in Champaign, IL, Riverside, CA, and Mainz, Germany, before settling in Baton Rouge, LA, in 1964.

Yvonne earned a Ph.D. in Science Education from Louisiana State University in 1972 and taught Chemistry, Biology and Physics at Episcopal High School from 1972-1991, retiring as Science Department Chairman. She was named Outstanding Chemistry Teacher of the Year by the American Chemical Society in 1989.

In 1991, after her husband’s passing, Yvonne moved to Bahrain as head of the Science Department at the U.S. Department of Defense Dependent School. She returned to the U.S. in 1997, living in Charlottesville, VA, Seagrove Beach, FL and Wilton, CT.

Yvonne is survived by son, Brent French of Charlottesville, VA, daughter, Angelica French Carey of South Salem, NY, stepdaughter, Jacque French Baker of Dallas, TX, siblings, Jim Henry of Clearwater, FL, Linda McInnes of Queensland, Australia, and David Lairson of Houston, TX, and four beloved grandchildren: Lindsey, Alexander, Liliana and Camille. She was predeceased by husband, Wilbur French of Baton Rouge, LA, son, James French of Ocala, FL, granddaughter, Whitney French of Charlottesville, VA, sister, Johanna Ruhl of Charlotte, NC, and brother, Paul Lairson of San Francisco, CA.

Yvonne is remembered for her love of family, adventurous spirit and positivity. She met all challenges with intelligence, determination and a sense of humor.

Friends and family will gather on Saturday, November 18, 2017 from 10:30 a.m. to noon at Kane Funeral Home, 25 Catoonah Street, Ridgefield, CT. A prayer service will take place at 11:30 a.m. at the funeral home. Interment will be private.

The family is grateful to the staff at The Greens at Cannondale in Wilton, CT. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Cure Alzheimer's Fund: