William C. French, 90, Former New Canaan Superintendent

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NEW CANAAN, Conn.  – William Cole French, a former New Canaan Schools superintendent, died on Nov. 20, 2012 in Meredith, N.H. He was 90 years old. 

French was born in Winfield, Kan., on Sept. 14, 1922, to Will French and Mary Alice Smith French. He married Georgiana Whiting Hassett French on June 20, 1948, in Petersham, Mass.

He attended Pomona College where he earned his undergraduate degree, and completed his master’s and doctoral degrees at Columbia Teacher’s College in New York City. He served in Europe with the the U.S. Army during World War II.

French was the superintendent of Joliet Township, Ill. schools and president of the Junior College in Joliet, Ill. from 1961 to 1967, and was the superintendent of New Canaan Public Schools from 1967 to 1989.

He later served as the interim superintendent of schools at 11 other districts, including Fairfield and Greenwich, and Scarsdale, N.Y. and Cold Spring, N.Y.  He was highly esteemed in the field of educational administration in the public schools system.

He is survived by his wife of 65 years; their four children, Janna French, Kristan French Julius and her husband Uwe Luedecke, Blaire French and her husband, James Ceaser, Waman French and his husband, Gregory Johnson; his sister, Mary Elizabeth French Pearson and one grandson.

The burial will be a private family gathering at Mount Auburn Cemetery, in Cambridge, Mass. The family has owned a house on Lake Winnipesaukee since 1938.

Mayhew Funeral Homes and Crematorium of Meredith and Plymouth have assisted the family with the arrangements.

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