Yvonne French

Yvonne Fern French

Sunday, August 31st, 1930 - Sunday, September 27th, 2020
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Yvonne Fern French of Potosi, Missouri was born on August 31, 1930 during the Great Depression on a farm in Washington County, Missouri, the fifth generation to live in the region. She was a daughter to the late Frank Devine and the late Christina (Thompson) Stewart-Devine. During her childhood, she was taught how to milk a cow, how to can, dry, or preserve fruits and vegetables, make lye soap, sew, quilt, knit, crochet, and everything except spin yarn, that she would have needed to become a good wife the nineteenth century, or during a depression. Mom taught her family all of these skills, but most importantly, she taught her family to treat others more important than ourselves.

At the one room elementary school that she attended, one teacher taught all eight grades. Students learned very quickly to study alone. On her way to school, (which sometimes served as a church) she walked an old ridge road that had cut a deep groove into the hilltop. Her father told her, "You're walking on ground that the Indians trod on their way to the western reservations, and then, twenty-five years later the war wagons rolled." She walked a little lighter on it after that. After her father died, Yvonne was unable to complete her formal education. Ever aware of this deficiency, she begged, borrowed, and bought books from those who could attend. She tried to educate herself, but wished many times that she had the luxury of an instructor to explain something that she had difficulty understanding. At the age of fifty-nine, Yvonne received her high school equivalency diploma.

The old (Potosi) ridge road's history, combined with stories that the old folks told about the Civil War, instilled in her a love for regional history. For years, she searched for books or some sort of literature that told of the local women and children's struggle for survival after the men were sent east to fight. She found nothing. Therefore, though feeling inadequate for the task, she nevertheless decided that she must attempt to save this bit of history and wrote and published "Missouri's Civil War A State In Terror."

Yvonne was united in marriage to James D. French on October 29, 1949 and they shared nearly seventy-one years of memories together.

Yvonne passed away peacefully on Sunday, September 27, 2020 having reached ninety years of age.

In addition to her parents, Yvonne is preceded in death by two sisters: Virginia Snyder and Ethel May Williams; and two brothers: Lloyd Stewart and Frank Devine.

Yvonne is survived by her beloved husband, James “JD” French; two children: Tena (John) French Humphreys and Roy (Judy) French; brother, Robert “Bob” Devine; three grandchildren: Cliff (Stephanie) Henry, JD (Shannon) French and Brooke (Bryan) Sullivan; nine great-grandchildren: Kelton, Arthur Paul, Stephen, Isaac, David, Parker, Kahlan, Avery and Rowan; and many dear nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.

Yvonne was a caring and compassionate wife, mom, grandma and great grandma. Her cinnamon roll factory has been slow over the past few years but this past Sunday, it officially shut down forever. So, as your day starts, have a cinnamon roll and enjoy life to the fullest.

Visitation will be held on Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at DeClue Funeral Home from 4:30 PM until 8:00 PM. Visitation will resume on Wednesday, September 30, 2020, beginning at 9:00 AM.

A funeral service to honor Yvonne will begin at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, September 30, 2020, held in the DeClue Memorial Chapel with Elder Leonard Compton officiating.

Interment will be held at St. Francois Memorial Park following the service.

All funeral arrangements have been cared for by DeClue Funeral Home.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Tuesday, September 29th, 2020 | 4:30pm - 8:00pm
    Tuesday, September 29th, 2020 4:30pm - 8:00pm
    DeClue Funeral Home
    301 E High Street
    Potosi, MO 63664
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Second Visitation

    Wednesday, September 30th, 2020 | 9:00am - 11:00am
    Wednesday, September 30th, 2020 9:00am - 11:00am
    DeClue Funeral Home
    301 E High Street
    Potosi, MO 63664
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Wednesday, September 30th, 2020 | 11:00am
    Wednesday, September 30th, 2020 11:00am
    DeClue Memorial Chapel
    301 E High Street
    Potosi, MO 63664
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Elder Leonard Compton
  • Interment

    St. Francois Memorial Park
    Bonne Terre, MO


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