Edward Vernon French, 90, of Houston passed away March 5, 2013, surrounded by family.
He was born on March 25, 1922 in Linn County, Missouri, to Leona O'Dell French and Earl French. On February 13, 1943, Edward married Ione Coe French, the love of his life, with whom he celebrated his 70th wedding anniversary this year.
After graduating from Brookfield High School, Edward (called Vernon by most of his family) joined the Army Air Force in September 1942. He served during World War II in New Caledonia, Guadalcanal, New Guinea, Admiralty Islands, and Okinawa. After earning a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Missouri in 1952, he enjoyed a successful career as a Civil Engineer, first for Phillips Petroleum Company in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, and later for Bechtel, which brought him to Houston. During his career, he was highly regarded in his field and authored several industry published works. Throughout his life, Edward enjoyed woodworking, working outdoors, designing and building beautiful improvements to his home, exploring his family history, and traveling to historical places. He was a dedicated father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, and during the past five years he especially enjoyed driving his great-grandson to and from school and helping him with homework daily. Above all else, he loved spending time with his beloved wife and rarely left her side. He was a lifetime member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, an involved participant of his neighborhood community, and was a dedicated member of his church, Eighth Church of Christ, Scientist, Houston, Texas.
Edward was preceded in death by his parents, son Larry Coe French and daughter-in-law Mary Ann Robinson French, and sister Evelyn French Thrasher. He is survived by his wife Ione, daughter Julie Swearingen and her husband Lawrence, daughter Marie Dewitt, son-in-law Mark Dewitt, seven grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, and extended family members including nephew, nieces, and cousins.
A memorial service will be held at 2:00pm on Wednesday, March 13, at American Heritage Funeral Home, 10710 Veterans Memorial Dr Houston, TX 77038. Memorial contributions may be made to The Branch School, 1424 Sherwood Forest, Houston, TX 77043 (713-465-0288, thebranchschool.org).