Frances Margaret French, 83, of Idyllwild, died at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2003, of pneumonia at Hemet Valley Medical Center.

Mrs. French was born Feb. 28, 1919, in East Falmouth, Mass. to Alton E. Baker of Falmouth and Nellie J. Gannon of County Cork, Ireland.

While training in 1937 to be a psychiatric nurse in Arlington, Mass., she met Milton Russell French. Mr. French said it was love at first sight for them both.

They were married May 19, 1940, in her mother’s living room in Falmouth.

With their combined wages of $40 a month, the Frenches raised a family of three boys and a girl.

Their son, Russell Edward French, retired after 30 years as a warrant officer for the U.S. Coast Guard. He is now the security officer at the Voice of America building in Washington, D.C.

Their son, John Francis French, is a self-employed carpenter in Lemon Grove and their daughter, Elizabeth Helen French, is a self-taught Realtor associate in the San Francisco Bay area.

Their son, William Alton French, died as a baby.

Mrs. French was a housewife but also managed two apartment buildings in Glendale.

She was honored in Los Angeles for knitting more than 6,000 woolen hats for underprivileged children throughout the West.

Her husband said, “She was loved by everyone who knew her. May God rest her soul in peace.”

She bequeathed her body for science to Loma Linda University.

Along with her husband and three children, Mrs. French is survived by five grandchildren and two great-granddaughters.