Chess 06

Ted French

July 18, 1956 ~ November 11, 2021 (age 65)


Theodore “Ted” (aka TNT “Teddy No Toes”) French arrived in heaven on Thursday, November 11, 2021, where he was warmly greeted by his mom and dad (George and Winnie), his sister (Gale), his niece (Jenessa), his first wife (Sharon) and his soul mate (Marilyn). When he arrived at the Pearly Gates his loved ones handed him his last personalized T-shirt that read on the front:  “Welcome to Heaven, where you can leave all your woes behind.”  And then he turned it around and read the back which said, “Summabitch, I thought that said toes!”  Everyone laughed knowing that Ted had lost his toes due to frostbite years earlier and thus his heavenly journey was off to a roaring start!


There are many delightful reasons to celebrate Ted’s time on earth as it was full of love and laughter.  Ted’s unique character often made itself known with a sharp wit and a well-developed sense of humor.  He truly loved telling stories and enjoyed joking around and reminiscing about past adventures. Typically his robust stories would end in a punch line that would bring the house down. Ted was well known for his endearing love of storytelling as well as his expansive curiosity, and let us not forget his ability to build unusual creations like his flying saucer and his prize winning wooden table with an inlaid chessboard.


Theodore V. French was born on July 18, 1956, in Montana as the second son of George and Winnie French. When “T.V.” was three years old his family relocated to Graham, Washington where he was raised on a 20 acre farm.  There are so many wonderful memories of his life on the “20 acres” where he was known to taunt his sisters every day by delivering a “gootz” (basically a finger poke into their belly or arm or wherever he could make contact and still run away without getting “gootzed” back). Ted was highly creative and found a way to make his mundane farm chores a joy.  One time Ted had decided to memorize the entire “The Raven” poem by Edgar Allan Poe; 18 six-line stanzas in all. Ted’s sister, Shirley, held the poem for him and helped him to memorize it, while he attended to his daily morning and evening milking chores.  To this day, she cannot hear that poem recited without adding the steady regular sounds of the milk hitting the sides of Ted’s bucket.  The rare times he would make an error he would insist on starting from the very beginning of the poem, no matter how much Shirley protested and finally gave in.  “Once upon a midnight dreary (plunk, plunk) while I pondered weak and weary, (plunk, plunk)…”


In 1988, Ted moved back to Malta, Montana, where he lived for the remainder of his days, eventually meeting the love of his life, Marilyn (Bilger).  When Marilyn passed away unexpectedly, Ted was devastated by the loss of what he referred to as his soul mate. They had a loving relationship, filled with much laughter and Ted often reflected on his many, many fond memories of Marilyn.


Ted is survived by his sons; Rory French (from his marriage with Sharon Rowan); and Karl French (from his marriage with Debbie Murray); his two sisters; Shirley Kempski and Margie Harig, his brother Bill French, and numerous aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, and cousins who all loved him dearly.  Theodore will be sorely missed here on Earth; while he may now be gone; he was too much of a character to ever be forgotten.  We all love you, TV, Ted, TNT, Theodore.





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