L.R. "Bob" French Jr., Thoroughbred owner and independent oil and gas operator and rancher, died on the night of Aug. 2. He was 86.
Born in Brownwood, Tex., in 1926, French was a resident of Midland and Fort Worth, Tex., and Palm Springs, Calif.
He was considered an outstanding horseman and was involved in both Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred racing, winning many stakes races with both breeds. Both the American Quarter Horse Association and the Thoroughbred industry honored French for the champions he campaigned.
Among the many Thoroughbreds he raced, either alone or in partnership with Barry Beale, Wayne Lukas, Edward Cox, and Overbrook Farm, were champions Capote and Landaluce, leading sire Mt. Livermore, and multiple graded stakes winner Terlingua, dam of Storm Cat.
After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin he served in the U.S. Air Force, earning his wings and developing a love for flying. He began piloting his own planes in the early 1950s and acquired his jet pilot license in the early 1970s. French launched his business career in 1946 in Odessa, Tex., at French Tool and Supply, and became known for in the business world as a man of integrity who also drove a hard bargain.
French is survived by his wife of 50 years, Marcia Fuller French, five children, 12 grandchildren, his half brother, Kirk French (Barbara), half sister, Julee French, and their families.
Services will be held Aug. 5 at 2 p.m. in the sanctuary of Broadway Baptist Church, 305 W. Broadway Ave, in Fort Worth. A reception will follow at River Crest Country Club. French will be laid to rest privately in Greenwood Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, consideration of contributions in his memory to Community Hospice of Texas, 6100 Western Place, Fort Worth, Texas 76107, or a charity of choice, is suggested.