Harry was a longtime member who was a regular at Mission Bay during the week. Per his family’s wishes, Harry’s kites were auctioned off at the following Club meeting with the proceeds going to the Kite Museum. We will miss you, Harry.
In Memory of Harry French
by Torri Cable
Harry passed away on June 12, 1998 and left an empty spot on the kite field south of the Hilton. The following people have paid tribute to him and the running theme is Harry’s helpfulness. I know that the many friends I’ve introduced to flying would remember that Harry helped them set up their kite when they’d crash it time after time. Thanks for gracing our lives Harry, we will miss you.
“Good, good man. Very helpful and exceptionally good around children. A nice guy to know and a good friend. Harry was also a very good hugger according to my mom.” — Dave Thomas
“Harry was one of my very best friends. We spent a lot of time flying kites together — I don’t know when we started flying together but it was a long time ago. Harry was a great flyer and he could do three things at one time and I could only do two. He could fly a kite and listen to the Padres, which he loved, and he could chew gum at the same time. I just didn’t listen to the Padres. Another reason Harry was such a good friend of mine was that he laughed at all my jokes.” — Virgil Dalton
“I met Harry five years ago when I started flying kites. I’d purchased a cheap Costco kite and when I got it out here on the field, of course it didn’t fly. Harry said, “You gotta do this …” and needless to say, we got the kite to fly. Harry was one of those people that if you wanted or needed something, he’d be more than happy to take the time to help you out if he could. A case in point was when I had surgery last year, Harry offered to get up at 4:00 in the morning to make sure that I got to the hospital by 5:30. You can’t beat friends like that! We had a running gag regarding a set of ear plugs — I got a set for $5 and he paid $10 for his, so I used to rag on him about that. Harry being the kind of guy he was, he’d just shrug his shoulders and say, “Well, live and learn.”
I’m just really sorry he didn’t get a chance to fly his new SLE — he loved learning new things to do with the Revolution and he was getting pretty good there. I miss Harry ’cause he was someone I could always give a bad time to.” — Slim Warnke
“The one thing I love and miss and respect about Harry was that he was so nice. He always had a smile and any time someone needed help with their kite getting flipped over, Harry would rush over to help. He was always there to help the kids and play with them. The most important thing though — he always had a smile … always.” —Ellen Morgan
“I always think of Harry as being a good man, willing to help people and never expecting anything in return. He would help a new kiter in a very gentle, helpful manner so they would enjoy their flying experience. That’s what flying is all about — sharing, and Harry did it in a very quiet, gentle way.” —Walt Thompson
“Harry was no doubt one of my favorite club members. He was one of the “old timers” and my last conversation with him was when the Wind Witches did their demo for the club. Harry seemed truly impressed, and he said to me three or four different times, “Linda, you really surprised me, you really surprised me, girl.” I knew he meant it and that he was very proud of me and I will miss him very much.” —Linda Mixon
“I never heard him say a harsh word to anybody. He was fun to be around, and he had a good heart, one of those good-hearted guys — always willing to help someone having trouble on the kite field. I remember that he’d put his kite down to go help someone else.” —Chuck Abney
“I first met Harry three years ago after moving from Los Angeles. I’d been here a year and wasn’t doing much for enjoyment. One day driving by the kite field, lo and behold there was a group of people from teens to the 70’s. They were all flying sport kites and I pulled over and struck up a friendship with Harry French. Harry struck me as one great person — heart of gold and the strength of a lion. He always looked younger than his years. Harry was always willing to help and give good advice. He was a dedicated flyer and Padres fan. Harry always had a sparkle in his eyes. He was a true doer for the Lord’s work, and a true family man, always ready to do for people.
I will greatly miss him but I know Harry will still be flying with us always. God keep you, Harry.” —Norm Rosen