Thomas Simpson French ’83 died on September 8, 2005, in Barnard, Vermont, of heart failure following a decade-long battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease).
Born on June 15, 1961, in Worcester MA, he graduated from Shrewsbury (MA) High School and became a member of Zeta Psi Fraternity at Bowdoin. Following his graduation in May of 1983 summa cum laude and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa, he entered the University of Massachusetts Medical School, from which he received his M.D. in 1987. He was a Fellow in plastic surgery at the Medical College of Richmond in Virginia and also was an assistant professor and practiced plastic surgery at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. The account in the Rutland Herald in Vermont said, in part, “He enjoyed music, playing the piano, performing in light opera, and was part of the music and art community. He also enjoyed skiing, sailing, swimming, and diving. He wrote a chapter, “Mind Games,” in the book Who’s Right (Whose Right?): Seeking Answers and Dignity in the Debate Over the Right to Die. Mind Games is also the title of a documentary film about him.” The film premiered in Woodstock, VT, only hours after Mr. French’s death. Surviving are his wife, Jacqueline Stiles French; a daughter, Lauren French of Barnard; his parents, Herbert S. French, Jr. ’46 and Marian South French of Hopkinton, NH; two brothers, Herbert S. French III of Boylston, MA, and David French of New Hampton, NH; a sister, Susan Hull of South Royalton, VT; and two caregivers, Daniel E. Bruce and Gene A. Strout.