ROCKLAND – Harry E. French, 70, died Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010, at the Togus Veterans Health Administration Medical Center after a brief illness. Born Oct. 2, 1939, in Rockland, he was the son of Alwin S. and Flora Hamlin French. Educated in Rockland schools, he was a 1957 graduate of Rockland High School. An article printed in the Dec. 22, 2004, edition of the Village Soup Times quoted Harry as saying, “Pumping gas, is pretty much all I’ve ever done.” He started pumping gas in 1954, while still in high school, when gas was 24 cents a gallon, and said that he had done that in one place or another ever since. That first job was with Don Drisko’s Rockland Sunoco Station. In 1956 he began working with Dick Smith, who operated various service stations in Rockland. From 1963 to 1965, he served as a medical specialist in the U.S. Army, primarily at Fort Hood, Texas. Returning to civilian life, Harry continued working with Smith at his Maverick Square service station, and in 1978 purchased that business, which he operated until 2006. Immediately after retirement, Harry reopened his business at his residence in Rockland; retirement was not for Harry. In the above quoted article, Harry said that he had worked with a lot of good people at the pumps, too many to name. He considered his long time co-worker, Gordon Fish, a personal friend as well. Harry was one of the city’s most respected businessmen. He was beloved by all those who worked for him or stopped in for a chat or to fill up their vehicle. Harry never forgot the people who were a part of his life. In addition to his parents, Harry was predeceased by a brother, Stanley A. French in 1998. He is survived by one daughter, Brenda A. McLaughlin of Rockland; one grandchild, Kyle A. McLaughlin; one son, Ronald Grover of Waldoboro; as well as several nieces; and special cousins, Kurt Passon of Milton, Fla., and David Hamlin of South Thomaston. He also remained very fond of his former wife, Anne E. French of Lincolnville; and stepchildren, Ryan Quinn of Warren, Jill Velencia of New Mexico and Samantha Quinn and her child, Alexander Copeland, both of Lincolnville. Friends and relatives are invited to visit 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 9, at Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock St., Rockland, where a funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Wednesday with the Rev. Dr. Linwood Welch officiating. A reception will be held after the service at the funeral home’s reception facility, 104 Limerock St., Rockland. Spring interment will be at Achorn Cemetery, Rockland. To leave online condolences, please visit obituaries at www.bchfh.com.