Richard “Buz” French passed away Monday, March 8, 2010. He was born in Memphis, Tenn., on Dec. 21, 1932, the son of Emmett and Mary French of Pomona, who predeceased him.
He served in the U.S. Army until 1952. He was part owner of the Agitator Shop, a family appliance store. It was the largest appliance store in the United States in the ’50s and ’60s.
He was a general contractor in the cities of Pomona, Ontario, Fontana, San Dimas, Claremont, Riverside and many others in the ’70s and ’80s. He managed the building of hundreds of homes (custom, medium, low-cost) including three full tracts, apartment complexes and numerous room additions.
Richard was vice mayor and city councilman for the city of Pomona in the early ’70s. He was president of Children’s Charity Organization, sponsor for Little League and Pop Warner, member of the Masonic Lodge and the Elks Club of Ontario, contributor to the Children’s Special Olympics in Riverside and recipient of the “Goddess of Pomona” awards for recognition of contributions to the city of Pomona.
He is survived by his wife, Sandra (Higday of Yorba Linda) whom he met on the Internet and then retired to live in Idyllwild three years ago; four children, Belinda (John) Ellena, Richard (Diane) French Jr., Carole Butler and Brian (Sharon) French; nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
The family will honor his life with a celebration in Idyllwild in May at his mountain home.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Animal Rescue Friends of Idyllwild (ARF) or Living Free Animal Sanctuary in Mountain Center.