Updated: Apr 20, 2022
Jerry Elgene French, DDS, loving husband, father, grandfather and avid outdoorsman, passed away on April 14, 2022 at Bristol Regional Medical Center.
Jerry was born on February 10, 1948 in Bluefield, West Virginia and raised in Bluefield, Virginia. From an early age he sought to provide a better life for his family. As a child, after a dentist fixed a broken tooth, Jerry dreamed of becoming a dentist; and his love for the outdoors grew from his roaming around the woods surrounding his childhood home. Jerry graduated from Graham High School in '66 and took tremendous pride in playing in the Virginia/West Virginia all-star football game. Working his way through undergraduate school, Jerry graduated from Emory and Henry College in '70 and earned admission to the Medical College of Virginia to pursue his dream of becoming a dentist. Steadfast in his work ethic, Jerry graduated as a Doctor of Dental Surgery from MCV in '74, while also working at the MCV blood bank between classes and in the evenings.
While attending MCV, he met the love of his life Helen. Jerry married Helen in '75 and relocated to Abingdon, VA where he practiced dentistry for 39 years. Opening his own dental practice in '77, Jerry worked tirelessly to improve the health of his patients.
Away from his practice, Jerry was a dedicated husband, a devoted father to his three sons, and a proud, loving granddaddy who loved spending time with his four beloved grandchildren. Jerry raised and showed Paso Fino horses, actively participated in living history reenactments, and dabbled in numerous hobbies. An avid lover of the outdoors, he pursued his passions for fishing, hunting, and competitive target shooting until his health declined.
To his family he remained a steadfast example of how to live life, defy convention, and make time for what truly matters. Jerry's love for his family was larger than life and will serve as a shining example for his family that will extend for generations.
Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, Ivan and Ethel and his brothers Sam and Tracy.
He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Helen; his sons Jonathan (Susan), David (Jen), and Matthew (Jessie); and his beloved grandchildren Tucker, Phoebe, Ivan, and Andrew.
A celebration of life service will be held at 2:00 P.M. on May 07, 2022 at St John’s Lutheran Church of Abingdon with Pastor Scott and Pastor Kent officiating.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts are suggested to St. Jude’s as well as St. John’s Lutheran Church.
Online condolences may be submitted to the family at www.frostfuneralhome.com