Milton R. French

Born Oct. 15, 1916, the self-proclaimed 96-year-old “Ancient of Idyllwild,” passed from this world of natural causes on Oct. 25, 2012, after living on his beloved mountain for the past 34 years.


Born in Revere, Mass., a proud veteran of WWII, he served his country in the Navy as a member of the Seabee’s 25th Special Battalion during campaigns in New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. Happy to be “Back Alive in 45,” he built a life around civil engineering; moving with his wife and three children to California in 1954. After a successful engineering career he finally retired at age 62 from the city of Glendale, Calif., to their little piece of heaven here in Idyllwild.

Milton and Frances, his late wife of 63 years, owned and operated the Mil-Fran Caretaker Service which watched over and kept safe many businesses and private properties here on the Hill.

Even though he lived alone the past 10 years, he enjoyed being captain of his weekly bowling team “Milt and Crew,” at the AMF Hemet Lanes. At age 85 he learned to surf the Net and email was his lifeline to three of his four surviving children; Russell, Jon and Elizabeth, and their large and loving extended families spread throughout the East and West coasts, and deep in the heart of Texas; whom he must now leave behind. Milton was a forward looking man who stood up to life’s challenges and said, “Yes” to its opportunities. Like the Navy Seabees’ motto: “Can Do.” Milton lived his life on his terms until the end.

If you have a Milton story or just want to contact the family: Elizabeth French, P.O. Box 1328, Capitola, CA 95010; [email protected].