November 20, 2019
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ROWLAND BARNES FRENCH, M.D.

Contributed | BDN
Contributed | BDN

EASTPORT – Rowland Barnes French, M.D., 89, passed away Friday, July 31, 2009, at a Calais hospital. He was born Oct. 28, 1919, in Haverhill, Mass., a son of Dr. Harry and Florence (Austin) French. He was the 18th Rowland Barnes French, a name passed by tradition from uncle to nephew. He was a graduate of Dartmouth College, Class of 1941, and Harvard Medical School, Class of 1943, the only class to graduate from the four years of medical school in three, in a program accelerated because of World War II. As a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, he was attached to the Marine Corps and took part in the invasion of Iwo Jima. He served there as a doctor, under fire on the front lines, until he was wounded. Later he was bound on a transport ship for a land invasion of Japan when the atomic bomb was dropped and the war ended. He then was stationed for a year in Japan at a Marine Corps hospital. He did his surgical residency at Boston City Hospital and Massachusetts Memorial Hospital, and then taught surgery and was the assistant director of the tumor clinic at the University of Wisconsin, studying how carcinogens work, and then practiced general surgery at the veterans hospital in Phoenix, before moving to Eastport in 1953 with his young family. He served as a physician there for 37 years, delivering hundreds of babies and making house calls at all hours of the day and night. He served as the tuberculosis consultant for Washington County and helped establish Eastport Health Care Center, which is now named in his honor. His interests ranged from hiking in the mountains, canoeing and skiing to the theory of relativity, history and classical music. He believed that all cancers and most heart disease can be prevented; said that everyone should take part in an invasion, as they would no longer wish to wage war; and, as hate begats hate and violence begats violence, felt strongly that people should learn to be kind to each other. He was predeceased by his wife, Winifred in 1995; and his sister, Elizabeth. Survivors include a brother, Arthur of Ann Arbor, Mich.; five children, Ann and husband, Ralph Townsend, of Wellington, New Zealand, and their children, Sandra and Kevin; Robert and wife, Robin Siegel, of Troy, Mich., John of Cranberry Isles, Hugh and wife, Kristin McKinlay, and their daughter, Winifred of Eastport and Edward and wife, Lora Whelan, of Eastport; numerous nieces and nephews. He will be dearly missed for his compassion and caring by his family and all who knew him. Visiting hours will be held 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 5, at Mays Funeral Home – Flagg Chapel, Eastport. A funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 6, at the Unitarian Meeting House, Eastport. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to a charity of one’s choice. Condolences and memories may be shared at www.maysfuneralhome.com.



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