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Ralph Sumner French

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Bedford, MA----Ralph Sumner French, Age 87, died Tuesday, August 13, 2002, at the Lakes Region General Hospital, Laconia, New Hampshire.

Mr. French was born in 1915 in Center Barnstead, New Hampshire, attended Center Barnstead, New Hampshire schools and graduated from Pittsfield, New Hampshire High School. In 1938, he received an Associate's degree in Steam and Electrical Machinery Operation from Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston, Massachusetts. In addition, he was honored with a Bachelor's degree in Technology from Wentworth Insititute in 1995.

He was a resident of Bedford, Massachusetts for 50 years and previously was a resident of Nashua, New Hampshire.

He is survived by his wife, Betty Ann (Trufant) French of Bedford, Massachusetts; a daughter, Judith A. French of Moultonborough, New Hampshire; a son, Richard S. French and his wife, Suzanne, of Rochester, New Hampshire; a brother, John, and his wife, Nancy, of Center Barnstead, New Hampshire; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins. Mr. French was the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Herbert C. French of Center Barnstead, New Hampshire.

Mr. French was a precision instrument designer and prototype maker with Laboratory Associates, Waltham, Massachusetts, until the age of 86. He worked on developing prototype equipment in the medical, 3D camera, oil spill recovery filtration, and leet seismograph areas. During World War II, he was an instrument maker with Harvard Underwater Sound Lab, Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he was involved in the testing and development of acoustic torpedoes. He was a trustee of the South Barnstead Cemetery Association, South Barnstead, New Hampshire and was a Mason in Ancient York Lodge #89, Nashua, New Hampshire.

He will be remembered for his love of family; love of humor, stories and reading; for his kindness, integrity and sense of responsibility, and his skill at instructing associates and colleagues on the craft of design and instrument making.

There will be no calling hours. A memorial service will be held on Sunday, August 25, 2002 at 12:00 Noon at the First Church of Christ Congregational, Bedford, Massachusetts; relatives and friends are invited to attend. Burial will be at the convenience of the family at the South Barnstead Cemetery, South Barnstead, New Hampshire. Contributions in Ralph's memory may be made to the First Church of Christ Congregational, 25 The Great Road, Bedford, Massachusetts 01730.

Wilkinson-Beane Funeral Home, 164 Pleasant Street, Laconia, NH is in charge of the arrangements.

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