Jeannette “Jean” Eloise French
After nearly a century of “joyful noise,” rebellion, and faith, Jeannette (Jean) Walker Herbert French slipped away quietly during the night of February 7, 2018.
Jean was born February 28 during the flu epidemic of 1918 – the eldest child of Methodist minister, Clyde L. Walker and teacher, I. Blanche Fowler Walker. She moved many times thanks to her father’s occupation: Born in Union, Oregon, elementary school in Ketchikan, Alaska & Eatonville, WA; high school in West Seattle & Bothell, WA. She attended University of Washington – even though she couldn’t swim the length of the pool (then, an entry requirement).
At UW she met Thomas Swepston Herbert. They married on a Friday the 13th in 1942 (so they could celebrate more than annual anniversaries).
Jean worked as an opera singer; actress; soloist (Temple De Hirsch); choir director (Tibbetts, Fauntleroy, St. Johns Lutheran, Japanese Baptist, Normandy Park churches and Huntington Park residence); and drove special education children for Associated Bus company until age 72. She volunteered at St. Martin de Porres in Seattle and Hana, Maui, Hawaii. At Alderwood Manor, her most recent residence, she was known for her vivid imagination.
She met and married the love of her life, Vernon French, in her 70’s. She is survived by son, Thomas S. Herbert Jr., daughter, Pamina Jean Hofer; grandchildren Katrina & Nikolaus Hofer; Steven Driver; and great-granddaughter, Mikayla.
Preceded in death by her brother, Fowler Walker; husbands, Thomas Swepston Herbert and Vernon French; daughters Judi Driver and Donna Jo Herbert.
She was a Super-Grandma-Amazing-Shopper.
A celebration of her life will be held February 18, 2018 at Manito United Methodist Church, 3220 S. Grand Blvd, Spokane, WA 99203 – with a special luncheon following 10:30 service.
Jean was involved in Masonic rites from Rainbow Girl to Grand Worthy Matron. She participated in TOPS and KOPS, but never met a “death-by-chocolate” she didn’t like. Much to her chagrin, she died of natural causes at age 99.9
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