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Wendall Ray French

Long-time resident of Longdale OK, Wendell Ray French, departed this life and went to be with his Lord on January 19, 2019, two days before his 72nd birthday. Over the years Wendell owned and operated several businesses with his brother Keith French, from Ace House Movers in the early years, to his current business, French’s Blue River Construction.

On January 21, 1947 Wendell was born at home, south of Oakley, Kansas to Wayne Hathaway French and Elizabeth Emma Williams French. During his childhood, he and his family lived in Kansas, Arizona, Idaho, and California. While living in California, he married Susan Lankford in 1970, and to this marriage their son, Wayne Leroy French was born in 1973. Wendell later married Kay Tibbits Evans and they lived east of Canton, before moving to their home east of Longdale where they lived until Kay’s death in 2008. Later, when in failing health, he was cared for faithfully by longtime friend and companion, Shawna Loeser.

Wendell was preceded in death by his parents; his beloved wife, Kay; and stepdaughter Monica Wanzer in 2004. He is survived by his son Wayne and wife, Sheri, their two daughters, Lexi and Lauren of Topeka KS; Monica’s daughter, Kayla of Corpus Christi, TX; stepdaughter Tina Misbaw and daughter Tracy of Okeene, OK, and daughter Myra of Wichita, KS; stepson Tom Evans, Jr. and Suzie of Canton, OK, children, Sierra, Harley and Weston. Wendell is also survived by four great grandchildren.

Surviving siblings are: sister Nora Lane and husband Roy of Belton, TX; brother Warren and wife Jone of Rosehill, KS; sister Nancy Nelson and husband Herb of Fairview, OK; brother Jerry and wife Katt of Forsyth, MO; sister Susan Cox and husband Gene of Thayer, KS; and brother Keith and wife Lisa of Longdale, OK; and many nieces and nephews.

Being a Christian was utmost in Wendell’s life, and his favorite scripture was John 3:16. He was the adult Sunday School teacher at Longdale Community Church for many years, and filled in at times during the pastor’s absence. Wendell was not afraid of death, but looked at death as just the next step in life. He knew he would be getting a new body, and donated as much of his body as the doctors would take. He knew someone else could use it—he was done with it!

Funeral services were held at Saturday, January 26, 2019 at the Longdale Gym with Pastor Steve Driskill officiating. Interment followed in the Longdale Cemetery, Longdale OK. In lieu of flowers, Wendell would prefer a donation be made to “St. Jude Hospital for Children” with Pierce Funeral Home, P.O. Box 36, Canton, OK 73724 serving as custodian of the funds. Condolences may be made online at

The Canton-Times

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