Craig Martin French, born February 17, 1963, of Basin, otherwise known as “Frenchy” or simply “Bro,” drank his last beer in the Montana spring sunshine and took his final breath of mountain air on Wednesday, April 21, at the ripe young age of 58.
He was preceded in death by his parents Helen and James French of Cleveland, and his brother Robby. He is survived by his wife Cynthia (Cici), daughter Hannah, and much older brothers Jim and Kenny. Craig spent four years as a U.S. Navy SeaBee, where he learned to get up early, drink lots of beer, and build things. He was better at building things than either of the former. He lived in San Diego for around a decade and never once called anyone “dude.” He met Cici, got married, built some beautiful houses, and brought his daughter Hannah into the world. Not sure if it was annoyance with SoCal traffic or his love for the mountains of Montana, but they packed up the horses, workshop, and baby girl and moved into his hand-made log cabin that was originally planned as a second home. Living the dream, so to speak...
He followed in his father’s footsteps in being a life-long Cleveland Browns football fan, and like many generations before him, never got to see them become a champion. Despite the odds, he never gave up believing in the Impossible, a reflection of his deep Cleveland roots. He never liked being known as “Frenchy from California,” preferring instead to be Craig from Cleveland. He had a working-class appreciation for craftsmanship and unpretentious friends, laughed loudly at inappropriate times, and found his own unique way in the world.
He lived on his terms, made sure everyone knew it was on his terms, and if you were lucky enough to be his friend or part of his family, you got to share company with a funny, loving, and extraordinarily genuine human being. Craig lived a life without regrets, except for maybe the fact that there was no warranty on the heart surgery he had in March, 2020. And in the end, there is nothing he wouldn’t have given to spend a few more years being Hannah’s Dad, which he always said was his life’s biggest joy. Gonna miss you, Bro.