Judith Ellen FrenchOctober 5, 1941 ~ August 25, 2017 (age 75)
In the late 1940’s it was a common sight along Seven Hickories Road to see a little red-haired girl on a painted pony, headed to the Kenton store for candy. That was Judith. She grew up on her grandfather William Faulkner’s farm at Seven Hickories, between Cheswold and Kenton.
Judith Ellen Bennett French was born on October 5, 1941 in Dover, DE to Lester and Mildred Bennett and was a big sister to Valerie Bennett Donahue. She married Gary French, the love of her life, in 1959. They settled on their own farm near Marydel and raised four children: Bill, David, Colleen and Debbie. But Judy’s imagination went far beyond that little farm they called “Penelope’s Advantage”. In time, she became an international bestselling author, writing under various pseudonyms, famous for her historical romances, and Amish novels. Over the course of a lifetime, Judy wrote and published over one hundred novels that were sold worldwide in multiple languages—stories of love and sorrow, adventure and triumph.
She was an accomplished archaeologist, an artist, a storyteller, a farmer, and a genealogist. But her greatest source of pride was being the matriarch of a large family. Judy was mother to four, grandmother to ten and great-grandmother to fourteen. Her joy was in those children and in seeing them chase chickens on her grandfather’s farm at Seven Hickories, just as she once had.
Judith E. French died at dusk on Friday, August 25, 2017 in her two-hundred-year-old farmhouse, surrounded by the laughter of a family that is eternally grateful for her thoughtfulness, her wisdom, and her relentless faith in her progeny.
Judy was someone who saw the best in all of us; she was a person who could always sift the positive from rubble, and who was just as at home talking to esteemed university professors as she was cleaning and hanging one of her own chickens for supper. Judith E. French traveled around the world, but her heart was always somewhere on a dirt lane near Seven Hickories with few pennies in her pocket, riding that pony.
Donations in Judith’s honor may be sent to Camden Friends Meeting, Camden, DE.
Letters of condolences can be sent via www.pippinfuneralhome.com
Camden Friends Meeting
122 E. Camden-Wyoming Avenue, Camden DE 19934