Craig Aaron French

On Monday, December

20th, 2021, Craig Aaron

French, of Emporia, Kansas,

husband, father, and

grandfather, passed away

at the age of 71. Craig was

born in Independence, MO,

to Harold and Lois French.

The family moved to a farm

outside of Ottawa, KS, in

1961. Craig graduated from

Ottawa High School in 1968.

Following high school, Craig

became a University of

Kansas Jayhawk in Lawrence.

Craig enlisted in the

United States Marine Corps and proudly served our

nation during the Vietnam War years. He worked in

Communication administration in North Carolina, Iceland

and in California. Following his time in the military,

Craig attended Kansas University in Lawrence, and ESU,

Emporia. After college he managed a men’s clothing

store, worked in banking and insurance, and to his great

enjoyment went into business in computers. He so

enjoyed learning how computers work and designing the

system for small businesses.

His greatest happiness was his marriage on October

14, 1979, to his beloved wife Joyce Shepherd. That, and

the birth of their son Garland. They made Emporia their

home where they have become deeply involved in their

community, and where they have been enriched by a large

circle of family and friends.

Craig’s ongoing passion to learn and his creative spirit

have filled their lives with the beauty of art, music, and

literature. He was gifted with great intelligence and

musical ability, he was a talented photographer, and he

was an exceptional writer. His love of travel to explore

the new and the old of this world, and to experience the

peace and beauty of nature, has further enriched their


Craig was preceded in death by his mother, Lois;

his father, Harold; and his brother, Martin French. He

is survived by his wife, Joyce; his son, Garland; his

grandson, Liam, Emporia; his sister, Lisa Cummings and

her husband Tom, Shawnee, KS; his sister-in-laws, Kathy

French, Olathe, KS, and Judy Shepherd Hawkins and her

husband David, Wichita, KS; and his brother-in-law, Jim

Shepherd, Emporia. Along with these are a number of

nieces, nephews, and cousins that have made his life rich.

Interment will be on Monday, December 27th at 2:30

in the afternoon at Reading Cemetery. There will be a

memorial service at 10:30 the morning of December 28th

at the First United Methodist Church, 823 Merchant St.,

Emporia, KS.

Gifts in his honor may be made to Hetlinger Planting

Hope Initiative (Greenhouse) or Emporia State University

Music Department through Roberts-Blue-Barnett Funeral

Home, PO Box #175, Emporia, Kansas 66801, which is

assisting with arrangements.

(1) comment


Hi Joyce and Jim! This is Mic & Rosemary (Bocquin) Houghton in Green Valley, AZ. Sorry to hear about your husband Joyce, sounds like he was a special person! I knew Martin French a little when I was in Emporia, but never made the connection! God Bless you and your families, and the memories you share.

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