Please click on this link for information on aeronautical engineer, Raymond Holliday French, Jr. – know to coworkers and friends as Charlie French.
Variously known as Skip, Charlie, Charlie Hop Jr., Timer, and by a select few, Chuck.
Raymond Holliday French, Jr., was born in Christiansburg, VA. His youth was spent primarily in Virginia and Charleston, SC, with a short period in MD. He studied at Virginia Tech where he earned a degree in aerodynamic engineering. After serving in the army through WW II, first as a RADAR crewman in Iceland and then as a paratrooper, he was hired as an aerodynamic engineer by the Glen L Martin Company, in Baltimore, MD. Later he transferred to Orlando, FL when the Martin Company began operations here (1957) and continued working with Martin Marietta, for a total of 36 years, being awarded as one of their top 101 employees in 1978.
Skip learned about St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church from some neighbors and began attending in the 1960s. During his 50+ years here, he was active in many and varied forms of serving, such as constructing things for the youth building and for other members, laundering and personally ironing the choir robes, shopping, cooking and serving with the Christian Service Center for their Daily Bread and their Fresh Start ministries, and driving the senior transportation van for several years. He also participated in service to the Frontline Outreach Youth and Family Center. Skip was recognized by the Order of Samuel for his service.
In the mid 1980s, Skip had what he calls “The biggest change in my life with God and Christ,” when he was browsing some shelves at the Orlando Public Library and encountered a book titled The Genesis Flood, by Henry Morris, PhD. He noticed that the author had taught at Virginia Tech, and he decided to check it out and read it – after further investigating the credentials and background of Dr. Morris! The impact of Dr. Morris’s correlating science with the Bible was so profound on Skip that it not only made the Bible, as God’s authoritative word, seem more dynamic and applicable to him, it also birthed a passion in him to help others make the same discovery. To that end, he spent the remaining years of his life, researching, studying and writing about what has come to be called “Creation science.” His special desire was that young people be given the opportunity to learn about this side of scientific research and findings.
Raymond, Charlie, Skip and Dad/Grandpa was a very loving husband, father, grand and great grandfather, who set a great example for his family in many ways: diligence in work, humble service, faith, and perseverance. He will be greatly missed, but we rejoice that he kept the faith, has run and finished his race well, and is now welcomed into the loving arms of our Savior and heavenly Father. We look forward to the Great Reunion Day.
He is survived by his wife, Julia, two sons and two daughters with their spouses, five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
No matter what name he went by, he gave generously of himself, his time, and his resources. He is truly missed.