William ( Bill ) French, 80, of Merom passed away August 3, 2022, at his home. Bill was born September 15, 1941, to George Adam and Lenora (Clements) French, on a farm in Riverton, IN, just a few miles south of Merom. His home did not have electricity or running water and it did not have an indoor bathroom until 1950. Bill helped on the farm from a young age into his adulthood. He was never into sports as a kid, and that has carried into his adult life, though he has made sure to attend as many of his grandchildren’s sporting events as possible to cheer his family on. He was, however, very interested in cars (fast ones especially) and tractors. He began driving tractors at a young age and even got in trouble by his parents as a young boy and driving a tractor up and down the levy in Riverton.
At 16, Bill had gotten himself a car and his driver’s license. He liked to drive fast. For fun, sometimes he would get the cops to chase him so he could lose them on the back roads. He became ill in high school and missed quite a few days, which lead to him dropping out.
That was not the end of his education though, as he would later go on to graduate welding school in Nashville, Tennessee. He joined the Army National Guard and served for 8 years before being honorably discharged. After his years of service, he worked at Stran Steel in Terre Haute as a welder, and also helped his Uncle Herman with logging. Unfortunately, Uncle Herman died in a tragic logging accident. This did not deter Bill from the logging industry, though, and he became a successful logger for four decades . He attended Merom Methodist Church, where he loved hearing Melanie (Dorn) French his loving wife of 48 years, play the piano.
Bill was the father of four children, Virginia (Jenni) French Bradford, Jackie French Gettinger (John), Janice French Russell (Richard),and Michael French ( Ashley), 13 grandchildren, and 8 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by infant son, Matthew French, and grandson, Tyrel Howson.
He loved to visit his children and kept in touch with many of his grandchildren. If you found yourself in Merom, you likely would have found him at Meleahs Cafe and riding his scooter around town, something he had done for years.
Bill could be described as the quintessential American man, never having had a single piece of pizza, tacos, or Chinese food. He became quite successful for someone born without electricity and running water in his home. He stayed in small town America all his life and was a part of Merom that will be missed.
Services will be held at Holmes Memorial Chapel, Sullivan IN. on Monday August 8, 2022, at 1:00 with Pastor Eric Blevins officiating. Visitation will be from 11:00 a.m. until the time of service. Burial will follow in Old French Cemetery, Merom IN.
A Memorial Tree was planted for William " Bill"