Claude A. French, Jr., 85, of Bedford, passed away peacefully at Lowell General Hospital on Feb. 25, 2023 following a brief illness.
He was the husband of Doreen C. French, who predeceased him on Nov. 16, 2014, after 55 years of marriage. He and Doreen had two sons, Harry G. French (predeceasing them in 2009) and Claude A. French, III, currently of Boxborough and a granddaughter, Alexandra McClintock and her husband Andrew of Westborough. Claude had lived in Bedford since 1961.
Claude was born May 26, 1937, in Somerville, New Jersey, being raised in multiple locations in New Jersey, Massachusetts and California, before graduating high school in Union, New Jersey in 1955. He was the son of the late Claude A. French and Helen (Dudinec) French. Claude was one of two children, with his sister, Janice Elliot of Carson City, NV, also predeceasing him in 2009.
Claude began his professional career and education in 1955, entering the U.S. Air Force, initially pursuing a career as a technical illustrator. Over the ensuing years, working in many capacities and at many foreign and domestic locations, Claude finished his military service with the U.S. Air Force at Hanscom Air Force Base, returning to civilian life in 1964.
While serving overseas, two of his most interesting assignments occurred in Morocco and Germany during the Cold War era.
While in Morocco, Claude had many assignments within a radar early warning and operations center. He worked on the design and preparation of radar plotting and tracking equipment; teletype communications assignments within complex military Telex networks, (before the establishment of the Internet), and as an illustrator. While in Germany, and being joined by his wife where they lived for two years, Claude was assigned to an intelligence collection organization and performed as an illustrator. Both foreign assignments were intriguing, with his time in Germany being the most interesting and rewarding of his professional career with the U.S. Air Force.
Upon leaving the military in 1964, Claude began his civilian career as an illustrator with Allied Research Associates in Concord; then with Environmental Research and Technology, Inc. in Concord and Lexington, first in the capacity of an illustrator, then as publications manager.
Claude finished his professional career by joining the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at Lincoln Laboratory in 1981, located in Lexington, as their publications manager for nearly 20 years.
Claude retired from MIT in May 2000, continuing to remain in Bedford during his elder years.
Claude enjoyed traveling, photography, genealogy and most importantly, spending time with his family.
Visitation will be held at the Bedford Funeral Home, 167 Great Rd., on Monday, March 6, from 4 to 7 p.m.
A graveside service will be held at Shawsheen Cemetery, Shawsheen Road., Bedford, at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, March 7.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Northeast Animal Shelter, 347 Highland Ave, Salem, MA, 01970.
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