Hiro Charles French


May 7, 1918 - January 25, 2012


Hiro Charles French was born May 7, 1918 to Oren Herbert and Elena (Mahlum) French at Scobey, MT. When he was five years old the family moved back to North Dakota where he was raised on a farm in the Palermo ND area. He attended a one room country school through the 8th grade and graduated from the Palermo High School.

He married Evelyn LaBar on June 21, 1939 in Butte MT. They had four children after moving to Willeston, ND. Hiro worked at Montgomery Wards and Coast to Coast Store; he also had a roofing and insulation business. In 1957 he and Evelyn bought the Gamble Store in Tioga, ND. In 1969 they sold the business and Hiro worked at the Bank of Tioga for ten years. In 1979 they moved to Grand Forks, ND. Hiro enjoyed making people laugh and entertained at various community and family occasions. Beginning in 1982 Hiro and Evelyn spent three or four months each winter in the desert in southern California where Hiro sold antiques he had restored. Hiro entertained two or three times a week at talent shows, variety shows and Hymn Sing. He was one the most popular entertainers – he told jokes, put on skits with many props that he made and played guitar. He also published a joke book.

He served in various civic organizations – President of the Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Merchants Committee, City Commissioner, Treasurer and President of the Fall Festival Organization, Church Treasurer, Men’s Bible Study and various offices in the Toastmasters Club. He and Evelyn also square danced for several years.

To mourn his passing he leaves his wife, Evelyn; two sons, Keith (Diane) French of Tomah, WI; Steve (Kay) French of Mitchell; one daughter, Cathy (Jerome) Nelson of Crookston, MN; seven grandchildren, twelve great-grandchildren and a sister, Phyllis Hanson, Kenmore, ND.

He was preceded in death by a son, Colin, three brothers, Elton, Whitman and Ward and two sisters, Bernice and Erma.


Friday, January 27, 2012
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Bittner Funeral Chapel
Scripture Service ~ 7:00 PM
805 West Havens
Mitchell, South Dakota


Saturday, January 28, 2012
2:00 PM
Bittner Funeral Chapel
805 West Havens
Mitchell, South Dakota

Posted by Shelley LaBar on February 25, 2012
Phyllis left a message on our phone last night that Hiro had died. We were very surprised and sorry to hear of his passing. I will never forget his smiles and hugs that he had for us when you came to visit. He will truly be missed, but his memory will live on forever and through eternity. God bless you all as you mourn the loss of this wonderful man.
Posted by Vicky Hakeneis on February 6, 2012
Evelyn,Steve, Kay, and family. So sorry to hear of Hiro's passing.Randy just shared that information with me. Have many fond memories of wonderful times shared with him and your family. Praying you can draw strength from your memories as our Lord Jesus Christ helps you through this journey of temporary seperation. Our prayers are with you.
Posted by Lee & Irene Keyes on January 30, 2012
Evelyn and family
I am so sorry for your loss. The death of loved one is such a
painful time. Only Jehovah truly understand the depth of pain
and offers comfort and hope to each of us at this most difficult
time. Please read John 11:24-27.Psalm 37:29. Psalm 83:18.
Hope this thought and scriptures bring comfort to your heart as
they have mine during this time of sadness.

Posted by Evelyn Wollmann on January 27, 2012
Sadden to hear of Hiro's passing. Its wonderful to know he is with our Lord. We will miss him. God be with you all.
Posted by Gary & Beverly Frankenstein on January 27, 2012
Our prayers are with you. We miss Hiro's singing, joke telling,
and great sense of humor. He was an inspiration to many.
Posted by Cory Knudtson & Jamie Matthiesen on January 27, 2012
Brian and Family we are so sorry to hear of your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family.
Posted by Weyland and Sharon Hvam on January 27, 2012
Our sympathy to you in the loss of your father. He really did enjoy life and entertaining people. How wonderful to have so many great memories.
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