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.