UNITY and BANGOR – Alton “Dan” French, 84, of Locust Lane, Unity, died January 10, 2019. He was born August 27, 1934 in Bangor, son of Alton L. and Katharyn (Brown) French.
Dan was educated in the Bangor Elementary Schools, Fairmount and Fifth Street Junior High. He attended Tabor Academy, Marion, MA, graduated from Higgins Classical Institute, Charleston, and majored in Business Administration at Husson College, now Husson University, Bangor. He married Lynn Marks in 1968. Dan was 50 plus year member of Rising Virtue Lodge #10, A.F & A.M of Bangor and affiliated and charter member of Seminary Hill Daylight Lodge #220 A.F. & A.M, also of Bangor. He was a past member of Royal Arch Masons chapter #75, Hampden, Bangor Council #5, Pasestine Commandery #14, Belfast, Scottish Rite Bodies, Valley of Bangor, Maine Consistory 32 , former director of Anah Shriners, Bangor and RO.J. Court #150 (Director 2000) Bangor. Dan was employed several years as a Sales Representative for Timberland Machines Inc., distributors of forestry equipment and Ski-Doo Snowmobiles from their Bangor office. In 1969, Dan joined Chadwick-Baross as Branch Manager of their heavy construction equipment facility in Bangor. He created the Forestry Equipment Division of Chadwick-Baross and became Manager of that division until his retirement in 1998. He was a member of the Maine Forest Product Council, New England Regional Council on Forest Engineering, American Loggers Council, American Pulpwood Association, Canadian Pulp & Paper Association (Forestry Group). Dan was co-founder of the Industrial Forest Forum and President for two terms. The forum serves logging contractors, large and small, sawmill representatives, pulp and paper company representatives, and owners and equipment dealers in Maine and New Hampshire. Dan was an outstanding baseball player both as a pitcher and infielder. After graduating from school he played third base and shortstop for the Brewer Athetic Club, semi-pro baseball team in the Eastern Maine League. The Brewer A.C.’s won the league championship several times. He later played shortstop for Grant’s Dairy, fast pitch softball team in the Bangor City League. Grant’s Dairy won the local and state championship titles four times in five years. After retiring from baseball and softball, he became an avid golfer. Dan was a member of the Waterville Country Club for 20 years, served on the Board of Directors three terms, and also a member of the Eastern Maine Seniors Golf Association and was president for three years. He enjoyed his final years of golf at J.W. Parks Golf Club in Pittsfield. He was a past member of the Great Farm Rifle Club in Jackson and served on the Board of Directors. Dan enjoyed music from the Big Band Era of the 40’s and 50’s, the sounds, songs and singers, along with jazz, blues and music of New Orleans.
Dan was predeceased by his parents; a brother, David; and his wife, Lynn (Marks) French. Surviving are his daughter, Audrey Bishop and her husband, John of Augusta; two sons, Andrew French of Nashville, TN and Michael French and his wife, Valerie of Unity; two grandchildren; two great-granddaughters; several nieces, nephews and cousins.
A private family interment with Masonic services will be conducted by the officers and members of Rising Virtue Lodge #10 at Mount Hope Cemetery, Bangor, later in the spring. Those who wish to remember Dan in a special way may make gifts in his memory to Make-A-Wish Foundation of Maine, 66 Mussey Road, Scarborough, ME 04074. Condolences to the family may be expressed at BrookingsSmith.com.