Clara “Dot” K. French, 99, of High Meadows Road in Elizabethtown passed away peacefully, Monday, January 5, 2015, at her home. She was born in Elizabeth, N.J. on January 16, 1915, and was the fourth child of Max and Clara (Diehl) Keppler.
Dot was educated at the Vail – Deane School in Elizabeth, N.J. and graduated with the class of 1933. She lived by the motto of her school “In quietness and confidence shall be your strength”.
Family was important to her and she enjoyed growing up with her four siblings. She was also proud of her German heritage and particularly admired her mother, whom she deemed a most wonderful woman.
Dot was civic minded and belonged to many organizations and among them were the American Legion Auxiliary, Elizabethtown-Westport Garden Club, The Beautification Committee for Elizabethtown and the Essex County Historical Society. She also was a staunch supporter of the Republican Party and a member of the Church of the Good Shepherd (Episcopal), where she volunteered in various ways in Elizabethtown. Dot also volunteered as a Candy Striper at the Elizabethtown Community Hospital.
She loved living in the North Country and being outdoors. She spent a lot of time working in her flowerbeds and in her vegetable garden. She particularly liked to see all kinds of wildlife and feeding the wild birds. Bluebirds were one of her most favorite and four of them came to visit her recently when she returned home from the hospital.
She is survived by her daughter, Lynn Crear Valenti, and her husband, Fred, of Plattsburgh and many nieces, nephews and their families.
Dot was predeceased by her parents; one son, Roderick Gordon Crear; her husband, Paul H. French, who passed away in 1999; and her four siblings: Max P. Keppler, Constance K. Millard, Richard R. Keppler, and Charles E. Keppler.
Heartfelt thanks go to Dr. Herbert Savel and Dot’s caregivers: Marilyn, Sandra, Derinda, Renee, Jane, and Dorothy for their excellent care of her in her last years.
There will be no calling hours. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 AM Saturday, January 10, 2015, at Church of the Good Shepherd in Elizabethtown. Burial will be at a later date in Riverside Cemetery in Elizabethtown.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Dot’s memory may be made to Church of the Good Shepherd, PO Box 146, Elizabethtown, N.Y. 12932 or North Country SPCA, PO Box 55, Elizabethtown, N.Y. 12932.
If you knew Dot, please honor her on Friday, January 16th, which would have been her 100th birthday, by committing a random act of kindness.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Marvin-Heald Funeral Home, 7521 Court Street in Elizabethtown.
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