Faith Elaine French Obituary – The Petoskey Information-Overview

Faith Elaine French, of Gaylord, Michigan was called home on Monday, December 26, 2022, from Culver Meadows Senior Living facility, Traverse City, Michigan where she had resided since June 2020. She was 81 at the time of her passing.

Born in Alma, Michigan on June 27, 1941, she was the daughter of Merlin F. and Vivian E. (Hitchcock) Emlinger. Faith spent her youthful years in Gratiot County, MI with her parents, brother (Kirk) and two sisters (Merlene and Rebecca), graduating from Alma High School in 1959.

Faith met the love of her life (and future husband), Terry French, when their paths crossed while working for General Telephone and Electronics Corporation (GTE). They were married in Alma on November 12, 1960. Her grandfather, a local pastor, officiated the ceremony.

The couple relocated from Alma to Wausau, WI and then to New Philadelphia, OH before settling in Grand Ledge, MI to put down roots and raise a family of 4 children. During her time in Grand Ledge, she was an active member of First United Methodist Church, the Square Dance troupe, and Clinton County 4-H. From there, they moved to Owosso in 1978 and then to Gaylord in 1984, where they lived out the remainder of their lives.

Her art was her passion! She was an accomplished artist, mastering paint, pencil, and charcoal media. She gave freely of her time and talents as a 4-H Leader and Art Instructor. She was commissioned to create numerous paintings and drawings throughout the years, including promotional materials for Gaylord’s annual Alpenfest in July 2003. She also illustrated two children’s books—“Abby the Tabby” and “The Bird That Wouldn’t Fly”—that were authored by Shirley Bouck.

She was a devout member of Gaylord First United Methodist Church, where she pursued a deep and abiding love for her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Faith is survived by her children, Brett French of Ishpeming, son-in-law Gary Leyder of Howell, Derek (Diana) French of Pinckney, and Heidi (Jason) Iseler of Traverse City; grandchildren, Zachary (Berkley), Gabrielle (Austin), Brian, Nicholas (Nikki), Jordan, Victor, Wyatt and Maxwell; a sister, Rebecca Roberts; a brother, Kirk Emlinger; and many nieces and nephews.

Faith was preceded in death by her husband, Terry; a daughter, Darcy; her parents, Merlin and Vivian Emlinger; her mother-in-law and father-in-law, Clyde and Emily ‘Mae’ (Stoner) French; a sister and brother-in-law, Merlene ‘Nini’ and Gerald Black; a sister-in-law, Elizabeth Emlinger; brother-in-law, Larry Roberts; and sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Patricia and Jack Dodson.

Faith will be remembered for her devotion to her husband and family, her abiding faith in the Lord, and her passion for painting and drawing.

A memorial service will be held this Spring (time and date to be announced) at Gaylord First United Methodist Church whereupon her remains will be reunited with her husband’s in the church’s Memorial Garden.

Those who desire to make memorial contributions are asked to consider the Gaylord First United Methodist Church Memorial Garden Fund or the Otsego County Commission on Aging.

Please share your memories and personal messages with the family at

Posted online on January 07, 2023

Published in Gaylord Herald

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