Charles Lester French, of Eden, passed away peacefully from his earthly life Monday, August 23, 2021 at his home with family by his side.
He was born November 20, 1929, the second son of the late Charlie Jennings French and Bessie McKinney French. Lester was preceded in death by his sisters-in-law Joan French, Ollie French, Lois French, Evelyn French, Billie French, and Kathryn French; brothers, Wilbur French, Jerry French, and Robert French; and sister, Peggy Cassada. Surviving siblings are George French (Gale), Brenda Strader (Donnie) and brother-in-law Marvin Cassada. Lester was married to his loving wife Anne London French for 70 years. They raised two sons, Charles Victor (Janet) and Timothy Alan (Wendy). Grandchildren include Adam Matthew French, Joshua Alan French and Kayla Leanne Cliffe and great grandson, Avett Colson Cliffe, plus many nieces and nephews.
Lester became employed with Duke Energy in 1956. After many years as a lineman, he retired as a line supervisor in 1989 following 32 years of service. Lester accepted Christ in his life in 1969, and led his family to join with Ruffin Stacey Baptist Church where he became an active member, Sunday School teacher, and deacon. He demonstrated his Christian faith and love to his family and friends throughout the course of his life. Lester and his wife Anne’s volunteer contributions to their community were numerous. Lester was recognized as the Duke Energy, Rockingham Chapter, Retiree Volunteer of the Year (97-98) for contributions and service to the community. He was recognized as the Duke Energy, Rockingham Chapter, Retiree volunteer of the Year (2000-2001) for contributions and service to the community. Lester was recognized in 2005 by Hospice of Rockingham County as the “Mickey Hair Volunteer of the Year” for loyal and dedicated service to the patients and staff. Lester and Anne were both recognized in 2008 by Duke Energy, Rockingham Chapter, as Retiree Volunteers of the Year for commitment to community and chapter. Lester joined with the Eden Camp of Gideon’s International on November 20, 1980 and served for 41 years holding most every office at some time during his tenure. As a Gideon, Lester was actively involved for many years in the Rockingham County prison ministry, beginning during Sheriff Bobby Vernon’s term and continuing with Sheriff Sam Page.
Visitation will be held from 6-8 pm on Friday evening, August 27 at Ruffin Stacey Baptist Church. Funeral services will follow on Saturday, August 28 at 11 am with a graveside comital at Roselawn Memorial Garden.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Ruffin Stacey Baptist Church, Gideon’s International, or Hospice of Rockingham County.