Essex — Jerome C. French, 89, husband of Abbie E. (Lander) French and a lifelong resident of Essex died Tuesday, September 18, 2012 in Cape Cod Hospital, Hyannis following a series of illnesses. He was born in Essex on May 19, 1923, the son of the late Gertrude French Welch. He attended Essex public schools and was a member of the old Essex High School graduating class of 1940. He went on to serve in the U.S. Army during WW II, the recipient of several medals including the Bronze Star. Mr. French was employed for twenty-nine years as a machinist at the United Shoe Machine Corp. in Beverly. During these years he earned a degree attending night classes at the Lowell Institute of Technology at M.I.T. Cambridge. Subsequent to his job at USM he worked for Wilbur Tracy at Gloucester Engineering until its’ sale when Jerome went on to assist in creating Wilbur Tracy Associates in Essex.
He loved the town of Essex and wrote many articles for the “My View” column in the Gloucester Times. In his later years he became a source of historical information of the town.
Jerome was a charter member of the Herbert Goodhue Essex AMVETS post, a lifelong member of the Essex Veteran Firemen’s Association and has been a member of Stephen A. Meuse American Legion Post #231 since the end of WW II.
He served as a coach, with Ivan Muise and Charles Untiet, of the first Little League in Essex in the mid 1950’s, was a member of the Old State Guard, 13th Company, 24th Infantry Division that disbanded on January 31, 1944, was a former park superintendent for the Town of Essex, a member of the board of Water Commissioners when water was first brought into town, including summer service, which he and his brother Edward (Tubby) Welch helped install in the late 40s, and is still in use today.