Nancy Ann French

November 12, 1932 ‒ March 01, 2019

Naples, Florida
Formerly of Youngstown, Ohio

Nancy Ann French, age 86, formerly of Youngstown, passed away on Friday, March 1, 2019. She was surrounded by her loving sons and grandsons.

She was born on November 12, 1932 in Youngstown, Ohio to the late John and Alberta (Glenn) Ferguson. Born and raised on the south side of Youngstown, she graduated from Youngstown South High School and later earned an associates degree from Youngstown College (now Youngstown State University).

Nancy enjoyed a successful secretarial career, lending her skilled services to the Superintendent’s Office of the Struthers School System, Youngstown Sheet & Tube, General Fireproofing and Cafaro Company. She was an amazing typist, and an expert at shorthand.

Nancy was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. James B. French, who died in 1999. They met at a dance hall in the early 1950s, which they always found ironic because neither of them were all that into dancing. It was just meant to be.

James was a Korean War veteran, stationed in Japan from 1952-1954 and the editor of the “Stars & Stripes” newspaper. Nancy and James remained devoted to each other while he was abroad and were married the day after he returned from service on June 5, 1954.

Nancy & James were lifelong Youngstown-area residents, lovingly raising a family together in Struthers, Boardman and Poland before finally settling in a house they proudly built for themselves in Petersburg in the mid-1990s.

Nancy is survived by her sons, Jerry (Karen) French, Doug (Andrea) French; her grandchildren, Kyle French, Patrick (JoAnna) French, Brian (Lisa) French, Erin (Robert) Hobbs; and her great-grandchildren, Tim, Dan and Rory French. She was also preceded in death by John “Jack” Casey, who was her loving companion for years following her husband James’ passing. Jack passed away in 2016.

Fitness was important to Nancy throughout her life. She was a dedicated member of the YMCA, and enjoyed bike riding and yoga. She was also an excellent cook, and skilled at sewing, crochet and needlepoint. In fact, for a period of time she made most of her own clothing—all while managing her career and raising two very active boys. Some of her favorite moments were spent reading books and National Geographic while relaxing on her porch with her beloved feline friend, Mr. Moo.

The family will be holding a private memorial service on June 1, 2019.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Nancy’s honor to The Bummer Fund (, which provides financial support to responsible pet owners in times of temporary medical crisis or emergency for a pet.

Contributions may also be made to the YMCA of Youngstown via mail or online. Donors may include a comment online or note it on the memo line of the check sent via mail.

Mail: YMCA of Youngstown, 17 North Champion Street, Youngstown, OH 44501


To send the family a condolence online visit:

The Dowds-Snyder Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Nancy Ann French.

  • Dear family of Nancy,
    I’m part of the Youngstown crew that hung around with Nancy and Jack. We all still feel their absence from life around here. Nancy was such a special person! And her love for Moo was extraordinary – I remember all the anxiety she had over making him adjust to life as a strictly indoor cat – she was so concerned for his safety but didn’t want to upset him! I always admired her devotion to good health, especially through exercise and yoga. And I am so surprised and touched that she remembered The Bummer Fund! I have worked with that fund for many years, and Nancy & Jack both contributed often. I know that the last few years have been hard on your whole family, and you did your very best for her. Now she’s on her next adventure! Much love to you all. Nancy will be close to many hearts always.