Joan Trenchard French, 91, passed away peacefully on Valentine’s Day, Sunday, February 14, 2021. With a big heart and full of love for her family, friends, and community, Joan engaged in life to the fullest.
Joan loved the arts and volunteered to serve in many organizations, including a long-time association with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra, Broadway Theatre League, Fine Arts Society, Lakeview Museum, Junior League and Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, always rising to positions of leadership in each organization.
In addition to her numerous civic activities, Joan embraced her 40-year career in farm management as President of Trenchard Farms Inc., a 6th generation family-owned farm in Piatt County.
Joan was born March 15, 1929, the daughter of Wendell and Helen Trenchard of DeLand, Illinois. Joan was grounded in her roots from rural Illinois and educated at the prestigious schools of Dana Hall (’47) in Wellesley, Massachusetts and Northwestern University (’51) in Evanston, Illinois.
She was married (1951-1976) to the late Taylor French and they had 3 sons, Bon French (Holly), Strawn French (Beth) and Penn French (Michelle). Joan was a devoted mother to her sons, inspiring a sense of adventure, community involvement and life-long learning.
Joan relished learning about our world’s many cultures, having traveled to six of the world’s seven continents in her lifetime, including a 2-week trip to Antarctica when she was 84 as well as journeys to Tibet, China, the Amazon River, Machu Picchu, South Africa, Iceland, Easter Island and the Galapagos Islands, among others.
In addition to her 3 sons, Joan is survived by seven grandchildren, Katheryn French Meagher (Charles), Taylor French, Kristen French, Will French (Chelsey), Garrett French, Hannah Klonowski and Kristyn Klonowski; and two great grandchildren, Walter French and Delaney Johns.
Friends and family are invited to a celebration of Joan’s life at the DeLand Christian Church on Saturday, June 26, 2021, at 10:00 am, followed immediately by a brief service at the DeLand Cemetery. There will be a luncheon at the Monarch Event Center in Monticello from 12:00 to 2:00.