John was born July 29th, 1947 in Cortland, NY to James and Dorothy French. He moved to Sioux Falls, SD in 1965 to study Psychology and Sociology at the University of Sioux Falls where he met Janet. The two were married in 1969 in National City, CA where John was working as a youth minister. A few years later they returned to South Dakota, where John worked at the University of Sioux Falls as an admissions counselor. He then owned an employment agency for several years before returning to the University of Sioux Falls as the Director of Career Planning and Placement, eventually becoming the Vice President in charge of Development. While at the University, he completed a Masters degree in Educational Psychology. John continued his career in development/fundraising over the years working for Abbott House, Achieve, Paul J. Strawhecker Inc. and finally, DakotAbilities. John loved his work, particularly the opportunity to help people. John enjoyed working outdoors at his hobby farm and riding his horse, Sam. He was an avid Vikings and Twins fan. Some of his favorite pastimes were gardening and doing Sudoku, jigsaw puzzles, and board games. He found beauty in the sunrise and sunset, the cool breeze of fall, and the glimmer of frozen branches in winter. In keeping with one of his mother's passions, he watched for eagles each spring and could identify every visiting bird. Every summer drive was spent guessing the height of the corn, including occasional stops to prove his accuracy. John is survived by his wife Janet; his son Joel and his fiance, Heather; his daughter Jena and her husband Kelsey and his grandson Isaak. Included are his sister Carole and brothers Les and Bill. John?s good will and sense of humor will be in our hearts forever. Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there. I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow, I am the snow on the mountain?s rim, I am the laughter in children?s eyes, I am the sand at the water?s edge, I am the sunlight on ripened grain, I am the gentle Autumn rain, When you awake in the morning?s hush, I am the swift uplifting rush of quiet birds in circled flight, I am the star that shines at night, Do not stand at my grave and cry, I am not there, I did not die. A CELEBRATION OF JOHN?S LIFE Please join us in a celebration of John?s life at Loren Christienson's Trent River Property located north of Dell Rapids on Sunday afternoon, September 25th, between 2 and 4 o'clock. Casual dress and good stories about John are encouraged.