Stuart French, retired Superior Court judge, dies

  • Sat Jul 3rd, 2010 11:00pm
  • News

By Katya Yefimova Herald Writer

MUKILTEO — Stuart French, a retired Snohomish County Superior Court judge and a decorated World War II veteran, died Friday.

He died peacefully, surrounded by family, after battling pneumonia he developed following knee-replacement surgery in May, said his wife, Cheri French. He was 89.

Stuart French served in the county’s highest court from 1979 to 1993. He was beloved by many in the community.

He was born in Massachusetts but moved with his family to Snohomish County in 1925. He worked as a newspaper boy and attended Everett High School.

He went on to serve the country during World War II, got a law degree from Gonzaga University through the GI bill and worked his way up.

Stuart French helped liberate Europe from the Nazis and was wounded in 1944. He was awarded a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star.

Cheri French said he rarely took his medals out from the back of a drawer. “When I asked him why, he just said ‘Oh, they just give them to everybody,’” she said.

Cheri French described her husband as quiet and unpretentious. The couple married in 1984. He was a role model for Cheri’s three sons, as well as his own four children.

He is preceded in death by two of his children. One of his sons, Charles French, followed in his father’s footsteps and served as a Snohomish County Superior Court judge until he died six years ago. In recent years, Stuart French enjoyed spending time with his wife on the beaches of Whidbey Island and exploring the history of World War II.

The family plans to hold a memorial service next week, but details haven’t been finalized.

“He was the love of my life and the most fabulous person I’ve ever known,” his wife said.

Katya Yefimova: 425-339-3452, kyefimova@heraldnet.com.