Roger J. French, 74, died at home on Aug. 28, 2021, following a brief acceptance of cancer. In the process of passing from this world, he offered his loved ones a final gift of showing how to die serenely, with gratitude for what had come before and taking solace in having contributed to what will be. He said goodbye with the words, “Thank you for the love.”
A graduate of Fenwick High School, Northwestern University, and John Marshal Law School, he practiced patent law for many years, which he found to be rather job-like and overall OK, with the exception of appreciating the lives of others who he came to know throughout the years as clients, co-workers, and friends.
He will be remembered for sharing his light with the communities in which he found himself, especially his activism against American militarism and commitment to dialogue in pursuit of authentic understanding and a more just society. The last book he was reading was The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt, which he found troublingly timely.
He was also known to tell a joke from time to time — many of which were hilariously awful — to help the playful bonds among fellows that he took care to nurture wherever he went.
Roger was the husband of Frances for 49 years; the father of Bill, who will always cherish his words “for you I have everything”; older brother of Marybeth; and grandfather to Daphne Lucille who was the final candle of his life. He was preceded in death by his parents George and Eileen French.
He will be missed dearly. On behalf of so many, including the countless anonymous: Thank you for the love, Roger.