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.,
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.