Devoted husband, father, and grandfather, Jo Watson French, Sr. 82, passed peacefully the evening of September 12, 2016.

Jo was born in New York City and attended the University of Colorado at Boulder, earning a bachelor degree in mechanical engineering in 1955 by way of an NROTC scholarship. He then served as a Naval aviator from 1955 to 1963. He married Iris in 1963 and together raised their children in southern California before retiring to Ashland in 2002.

While living in Ashland Jo continued his community service, becoming a member of the Kiwanis and American Legion organizations. His service in Kiwanis included the responsibilities of secretary, treasurer, and president. He was at the forefront in arranging donations from Kiwanis to Ashland High School’s Student Services Emergency Fund, responsible for providing school supplies for students in financial need. In a display of his core values of community and patriotism, he was instrumental in securing the services of biplane pilot Mike Burrill to continue the tradition of flyovers for the City of Ashland’s Memorial Day observance.

Jo is survived by his wife, Iris; brother, Tony; daughter, Allison; sons, Jo and Brian; daughter-in-law, Becky; his grandchildren, Haley and Christopher; as well as his niece and two nephews and their families. He and Iris enjoyed 53 years of marriage together.

A Celebration of Life service for family and friends will be held at 6:00 p.m. October 2, 2016 at Paschal Winery. Memorial contributions may be made in Jo’s honor to Ashland Kiwanis – AHS Emergency Fund, P.O. Box 449, AshlandKiwanis.org.