John S. French

John Storrs French (aka Jessie), 71, passed away in his home in Seward, on Jan. 24, 2020. John was born Jan. 17, 1949, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, son of Arthur Bancroft French and Margret Storrs French. He spent most of his youth in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he graduated from Pioneer High. He then went on to Oberlin College where he graduated in 1971. He spent two years in Malaysia with the Peace Corps. He then went back to school at the University of Michigan where he received his PhD in Biological Chemistry. This was followed by a postdoctoral position at UC Berkeley.

He joined the University of Alaska as a professor in the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences in early 1980s. Subsequently he held University positions in Anchorage, Kodiak, and Fairbanks. He retired from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, in 1990 and moved to Seward. He continued consulting as an Environmental Toxicologist until his death.

John was passionate about the environment especially in the coastal and marine Alaska as well as the rights of native peoples. He was active in Seward civic affairs until his death.

 John is preceded in death by his mother, Margaret S. French and by his father, Arthur B. French. He is survived by four brothers, Harry French of New York City, Rowland French of Portland, Art French of Estes Park, Colo., Charles French of Big Timber, Mont., and a sister Julia French of Salt Lake City, Utah.

Memorial service arrangements are pending. Condolences and well wishes may be left with brother Art French, 1399 Meadowdale Lane, Estes Park, CO 80517, or email If you wish to be notified of memorial service arrangements, please also email to the above.