Jeannie French Love for Jeannie French

Jeannie French devoted her life to creating a world that filled the lives of her three sons, Jacob (13), Jamison (21), and Nicholas (23) with light and love.

After fiercely battling non-Hodgkins lymphoma for 2+ years, she is in hospice along with her mother and best friend, Wilma. She is peacefully closing this chapter in Brookings, the place where she so lovingly built her family.

We, her family, appreciate the incredible outpouring of support and care we’ve experienced every step of the way.

Please join us in celebrating the many beautiful ways Jeannie has made the world a better place. At the request of her family, visits are not encouraged. Funeral service details will be updated on this page, when available.

There is a support fund available if you would like to contribute to a memorial fund to defray medical costs.


The Sons of Jeannie French


Some notable things about our Mom,

-She absolutely loved taking her boys camping and fishing. We’ve weathered terrifying stormy nights, blazing hot summer days. We’ve camped in tents (with two dogs!), pop-up trailers, hybrid trailers, and a 32-foot travel trailer.

-She always made time to teach her boys about the things that mattered, like how to clean a fish, use a mitre saw, throw a pot on a potter's wheel, and most importantly: how to put others’ needs first.

-She and the family cat, Jefferson, were inseparable. Without fail, if she sat down to work on things, Jefferson would snuggle up on her lap. He’s a pretty squirmy cat, but she was the only person who he would let hold him. She was originally a dog person (Shannon, Joshua, Dolly, and Treffen) but he definitely changed her mind.

-She loved the good things in life: Dolly Parton, red licorice, red M&M’s, Whoppers, Leinenkugel's Honey Weiss, and most of all, her three boys.

-She was one of the nation’s leading ceramists, creating stunning ceramic pots, castings, and sculptures. She was best known for her colorful decorative platters, and every year looked forward to the NCECA (National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts) Conference.

-Since 2001, she made sure to take her sons and mother to Catalyst Foundation’s Vietnam Culture Camp. It was always important to her that her sons learn about their history and experience their culture while making lifelong connections and friends.

-She always dreamt about taking her boys to SE Asia and Ireland, and desired to go to Germany to trace the steps her father, Jack (d. 2005), took during WWII.

-She is beloved and esteemed by so many in her community, and her presence is truly irreplaceable.

-Although big on Christmas decor, color-coordinated X-mas trees were not enough. She loved to show vibrant, colorful lights with a smattering of sentimental ornaments, in order fully capture the true Christmas spirit.

- During the summers, we would venture to Montello, WI, a special place where her parents first met. We enjoyed a week at the family lake cabin with her sister and her family.

-She always stressed the importance of cursive, whether that be writing to loved ones or keeping personal notes.