Thursday, April 24, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Ben French

French, Ben

May 30, 1923 – Aug. 23, 2013

Ben French passed away on Friday, Aug. 23, 2013 at his home in Davis.

He was born in Hanford on May 30, 1923, the descendant of early California pioneers. His paternal grandfather was part owner, along with J.B. Anderson, of the Davisville Cash Store, the predecessor to Davis Lumber and Hardware, and his father attended Davis schools during the early years of the 20th century. Struggling through the Great Depression, Ben’s parents lived in several rural communities in the San Joaquin delta as they sought to make a living. Ben learned to hunt and fish and, as an only child, found comfort and companionship in the natural environment. His love of the outdoors remained strong throughout his life.

After graduating from Rio Vista High School in June 1941, Ben worked as a clerk for the Bank of Rio Vista and later as an iceman for the Union Ice Company to earn money to attend college. He was able to enroll at UC Berkeley in the fall of 1942 and entered the Army Reserve program. He was called to active duty in March 1943, training as a paratrooper, and fought in France and Germany with the 82nd Airborne Division. Upon his return home in January 1946, Ben enrolled again at Berkeley under the GI Bill, completing his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in agricultural economics, the latter in 1953.

Ben joined the faculty at Michigan State University in 1953 and in 1959 he returned to California as an associate professor of agricultural economics at UC Davis. His leadership was instrumental in building the Ag Econ department to the top ranked program it is today. He was a dedicated teacher at both the undergraduate and graduate levels; many of his former students now hold prominent positions in universities, businesses, and government. His pioneering research is noted for its depth and innovativeness and has received numerous awards and recognitions. In 1981, Ben was selected as a Fellow of the American Agricultural Economics Association, the highest recognition given by the AAEA, with at most four selected annually.

Ben met his future wife and lifelong love, Mary Loscutoff, at a Student Cooperative dance at Berkeley in the spring of 1946; in December 1947 they married. They had three children: Susan (1950), Ben Jr (1953), and Stan (1957). Theirs was a marriage of enduring love, friendship, and devotion to family. They enjoyed their world travels, camping trips, and most of all, fishing. They had a long, healthy, and happy life together, and Ben passed away peacefully with Mary at his side.

In addition to his wife Mary, Ben is survived by his daughter Susan French Weeks; sons Ben and Stan; son-in-law Ed Weeks; daughter-in-law Wendy Chan French; granddaughters Aubree French and Gillian Weeks; and great-granddaughter Bristol Bullivant.

At Ben’s request, there will not be a memorial service. Remembrances may be posted with Wiscombe Funeral Home at www.wiscombefuneral.com.

Special to The Enterprise

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

News

 
4-H members get ready for Spring Show

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Will city move forward on public power review?

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

Attorneys at odds over Woodland infant’s death

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

 
Obama to Russia: More sanctions are ‘teed up’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 3 Comments

 
2 pursuits, 2 arrests keep Woodland officers busy

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
 
Youth sports in focus on radio program

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Rummage sale will benefit preschool

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Concert benefits South Korea exchange

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Conference puts focus on Arab studies

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Davis honors ‘green’ citizens

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Water rate assistance bill advances

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Program explores STEM careers for girls

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5, 5 Comments

 
Embroiderers plan a hands-on project

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Central Park Gardens to host Volunteer Orientation Day

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Volkssporting Club plans North Davis walks

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Hotel/conference center info meeting set

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
MOMS Club plans open house

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
Cycle de Mayo benefits Center for Families

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8

Author to read ‘The Cat Who Chose to Dream’

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A12

 
.

Forum

Things are turning sour

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

 
The high cost of employment

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

High-five to Union Bank

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Broken sprinklers waste water

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Three more administrators?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Neustadt has experience for the job

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Here’s a plan to save big on employee costs

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6, 4 Comments

 
Davis is fair, thoughtful

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Ortiz is the right choice for Yolo

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

.

Sports

DHS tracksters sweep another DVC meet

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Another DVC blowout for DHS girls soccer

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1, 2 Comments | Gallery

Young reinvents his game to help Aggies improve on the diamond

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
DHS boys shuffle the deck to beat Cards

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

DHS/Franklin II is a close loss for Devil softballers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Baseball roundup: Giants slam Rockies in the 11th

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
UCD roundup: Aggies lose a softball game at Pacific

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

 
Jahn jumps to Sacramento Republic FC

By Evan Ream | From Page: B8

.

Features

.

Arts

Congressional art competition open to high school students

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Emerson, Da Vinci to present ‘Once Upon a Mattress’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Winters Plein Air Festival begins Friday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Bach Soloists wrap up season on April 28

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A11

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Thursday, April 24, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6