James G. French

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James G. French

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James French

James George French was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, on the evening of June 9, 2013, to Kris and Lindsey French. James was a very happy baby and a joy to his family, especially to his big sister, Klaire, who loved and cared for him as only a sister can. At age 3, James became a big brother to Frank.

James began to exhibit developmental delays in infancy and, at 18 months, was found to have a rare condition called lissencephaly. While this condition may be very debilitating, James surprised us all with his growth and abilities. Surrounded by the love, diligence and support of his family, friends and a community of therapists, James thrived. Simply stated, James exceeded everyone’s predictions and expectations.

James endeared himself to everyone he met with his big blue eyes and gentle way. He loved other kids and made fast friends. James was a boy’s boy and a man’s man. He loved cars, trucks, tractors and trains — toys and the real thing. When we had picnics or barbecues, James parked himself by his dad, or by someone’s dad, to play trucks. He was always ready to give one of his “head hugs” and hold a hand.

James attended Good Shepherd Preschool, and then kindergarten at Billings Christian School, where he made best friends and had wonderful teachers. James’s success in school was due in large part to the support and therapy he received at The Pediatric Therapy Clinic of Billings.

James’s great joy in life was playing with big sister, Klaire, and little brother, Frank. Klaire, ever the big sister, could get James to play house, do projects, build cities, play match and even do schoolwork together. Frankie and James brought out one another’s silly, rough-and-tumble sides. Their boyish laughter could be heard throughout the house and yard. Klaire, James and Frank ended most days running, jumping and wrestling in the basement while we chased them around trying to put on their pajamas.

On the morning of April 25, 2020, James passed from this life to the next due to unexpected complications of lissencephaly. While we are all deeply saddened by James’s passing, we are confident that he is with His loving Father in heaven. We look forward to the day we will meet him there.

James is survived by parents, Kris and Lindsey French; sister Klaire (8) and brother Frank (3); grandparents Frank and Kordelia French of Plentywood; grandmother Judy Smith, of Billings; uncle and aunt Nathan and Angie French, and their children, Ryan (16), Laura (14), Megan (11) and Abby (11), St. Cloud, Minnesota; and uncle Brian Smith of Billings. James was preceded in death by his grandfather, Bob Smith. James will also be remembered and cherished by numerous extended family members, friends of the French family, Pediatric Therapy Clinic, Billings Christian School and Faith Chapel.

Services for James will be held at Faith Chapel in the large worship center at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 8. Accommodations for social distancing will be in place. The family respects your personal choice to attend, or not to attend, in light of current events.

In lieu of flowers, we ask that gifts are made to the James G. French Memorial Fund.

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James G. French Memorial
Billings Christian School Education Foundation
3031 Grand Ave., Suite 100-106
Billings, MT 59102.

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0 thoughts on “James G. French”

  1. Connie Lathrop

    Your precious son was a light😊. I know how much Klaire cared for him and loved him. So sorry for your heart breaking loss. The Lord is continuing to bring you to mind and I am praying for your family. In Jesus everlasting love, Mrs. Connie Lathrop ♥️♥️♥️

  2. Jennifer Yandell

    What a wonderful gift James was to all. His fabulous smile was so contagious. Gracelyn and Miller said his frown was broken, you never saw it😍. Our hearts break for you. Prayers and hugs for sweetest Klaire and your whole family.

  3. Angeena Kakiuchi

    Dear Family,

    I’m so sorry to hear about this news. I remember Jame’s beautiful big blue eyes and his gorgeous smile and the way he loves cars. I remember how absolutely kind and ever so loving l and attentive his sister and brother were to him. At one of the events my daughter was doing glitter tattoos and Klaire asked James so tenderly if he wanted one too I loved to see how caring she was.

    I’m sorry that you all have to go through this. He served his purpose here, lit up and made many of us very happy. Thank you for sharing him with us.

    All my love,
    Angeena Kakiuchi
    From Granite

  4. Tracy Deis ( old cook from Jensen Cottage)

    So sorry to hear. I can still see those big blue eyes and that smile! You are all in my thoughts and prayers

  5. I was always impressed with James’s bright face full of zest, his courage and determination when he arrived to attend Faith Chapel/Walkers. He will be remembered and missed by all who had the fortune to have known him.

  6. My deepest condolences to you. I am so very sorry for your loss. James and my son Derek attended PTC at the same time. I believe when James started. Everything said about James is true. Derek has low communication but when I picked him up or dropped him off I would cross paths with James and his mom. My son would says “James” on the way home. James always had a smile. We are glad we had the privilege to meet and know him.
    May beautiful memories light your way through this sad time.
    With sympathy, Sue and Derek Robbins

  7. My condolences along with prayers but may warm thoughts and remembrance of James be with us forever, all the love John kemp jr

  8. Deanie Hawkins

    I am so sorry for your grief over the loss, albeit temporary, of your little man. God bless you, all.

  9. Jeff & Lynn McCall

    We send out our deepest sympathies to you all. Our thoughts and prayers are with you is this time of sadness.

  10. Jesse Smolak and family

    We are heartbroken for the loss of such an amazing young man. James gave us tremendous joy in being able to follow along with his progress. Our family’s thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.

  11. Nikki Ferguson

    James touched my heart when I would see him in 4s and later in 5s at Church. He had such a peaceful and kind demeanor and it was so much fun to do puzzles and other activities with him. I’m so sorry for your loss!

  12. We will always remember the smiles James gave as they brightened up the room. When he visited the Churchill house a couple of years ago he was so sweet to share his toys with his new cousin Stella. We got a kick out of watching James show his genuine excitement for life, whether it was introducing his toy trucks to the pool at Brenna and Chris’ wedding, or making sand castles at the beach. His kind soul is a reflection of his parents and we are honored to have the memories that James created for us.

  13. With eyes that could light up a room and a smile that touches a soul forever, you will be missed. Prayers to your family here as you spread your light in heaven.

  14. I am so deeply sorry for your loss. My heart is broken for your entire family. May your beautiful son rest in peace.

  15. We were saddened to hear of your heartbreaking loss. We are glad that we got to meet James at Jeanne French’s 90th birthday. We remember his kind smile and the light that he brought to that celebration. We are praying for all of you and for James.

  16. You have no idea who I am, but I feel your pain. I lost my only child, a son. In 2014. He was much older than James, but it still hurt. A virus attacked his heart. You will never get over it, but rely on the Lord and He will give you strength to deal with it.

    May God Bless you & your family
    In God’s love,
    Brenda
    .

  17. Mackenzie Kanis

    We have never met, but I saw your little boys obituary posted on Facebook and it broke my heart. My husband and I lost our infant son (firstborn) in October 2019. I am so saddened to hear of another family having to walk this road. The days will be long and hard, but we grieve in hope and in light of the resurrection. Cry out to the Lord he hears our prayers and collects our tears. I’ll be praying for your family as you walk this difficult road, Mackenzie Kanis 💙

  18. Claire r Oakley

    To the French family, I just learned of your loss of James. I’m so sorry; I recently met him at a local store when luckily Lindsey recognized me and we got to chat and catch up for about 15 minutes in the aisle. One of my good friends from college has a child with lissencephaly and for years I received a little gold angel each Christmas with TeriAnn’s name on it. When I see that angel I will now think of two…take care and know that all your friends and colleagues wish you the best on your grief journey…Claire Oakley

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