Juanita D. French, 83, of Port Charlotte passed away Sunday, July 26, 2020 at Englewood Community Hospital.
Born on September 6, 1936 in Newport, Rhode Island; she was the loving daughter of Loraine H. (Fields) of Paducah, Kentucky and Anthony Drogos whose family immigrated to Newport from the Greek Island of Serifos in 1907.
Juanita attended the public schools in Newport, graduating from Roger's High School in 1954. For several years, she worked in various locations in Newport including the Naval Supply Depot, and various law offices. After adopting six children; Jay, Lori, Sean, Peter, Mary-Elizabeth, and Kathleen Butler, she enrolled at Salve Regina for part time studies. Two years later, she began full-time studies in education.
She graduated Magnum Cum laude from Salve Regina in 1976 with an undergraduate degree in Special Education and a minor in Psychology. She was also elected to the Who's Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges. She continued her studies and ultimately earned her master's equivalency in education.
Juanita began her teaching career at West Warwick High School in 1976 before accepting a position in 1978 with the Special Education Department at Roger's High School in Newport where she continued teaching for the next 23 years. During that time, she conducted specialty workshops for the Rhode Island Department of Education and was an instructor for the Bristol-Warren (Special Needs) Adult Education Program.
Upon her retirement in 2001, Juanita and her husband, H. Wells "Red" French relocated to Charlotte County. Juanita volunteered as a Guardian Ad Litem with the 20th Judicial Circuit in 2004 until her passing.
Juanita is survived by her loving husband of thirty-four years: Red French; children: Jay Butler, Deborah (French) White, Lori (Butler) Demarsico, Daniel French, Sean Butler, Peter Butler, Mary-Elizabeth (Butler) Souza, and Kathleen Butler; grandchildren: Ryan Butler, Gianna Butler, Nick White, Adam White, Cassidy Baptista, Eric Souza, Alison French, Caitlin French, Andrew French, Catherine Butler, Justine Bernier, Devin Defond, and Nathan Defond, 10 great-grandchildren, and 3 furbabies (Gracie, Molly, and Chia)
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Guardian Ad Litem Program 20th Judicial Circuit or St. David's Episcopal Church, Englewood Florida. There will be a celebration of life held at a later date.
Englewood Community Funeral Home with Private Crematory has been selected to handle arrangements. You may share a memory with the family at www.englewoodfh.com