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Donald John France

July 7, 1938 January 13, 2018
Donald  John France
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Obituary for Donald John France

Donald John France died at home January 13, from Parkinson's Disease with dementia.
Born in 1938, he grew up in Erie Pa, where he was raised by loving foster parents Arthur and Josephine Taylor. The Taylors instilled in him a lifelong love of nature and music. In high school he enjoyed playing both the clarinet and the saxophone, and played in the school marching band and in a popular local dance band.
He was awarded a full NROTC scholarship and chose to attend the University of Rochester, graduating in 1960. In the Navy, he served as navigational officer (Lt. JG) on the destroyer USS Everett Larson operating in the Pacific, and later on a troop transport moving from San Diego to Hawaii, Japan, Guam, and the Phillippines. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, his ship was among those deployed to the area.
As a civilian he worked as a research chemist for American Cyanamid Agricultural Research in Princeton for over thirty years. He published several papers and was awarded various patents, most notably for Cydectin (moxidectin), a heartworm preventive for dogs. Following the closing of the Ag Center, he worked for three years for Celgene, doing cancer research.
In his retirement he loved dining with friends, reading, listening to classical music, bird watching, walking the many scenic roads of Hopewell Township, and working in the yard. After his rapidly-advancing Parkinson's disease made walking difficult and then impossible he still enjoyed sitting on the porch, watching the birds at the feeder and listening to their songs.
He is survived by Virginia, his wife of 54 years, by his beloved daughter Jessica of Newmarket, NH, by his half brother Bill Davis of Dallas, TX, and by his nephew August Churchill of San Francisco. The family wishes to express its gratitude for the kind, loving, and professional care given him by his two principal home healthcare aides Josseline Michaud and Olga Ramirez, and by the hospice nurses, staff, and volunteers of Holy Redeemer.
A memorial service will be held at St Matthew's Episcopal Church S. Main St., Pennington, at 1:00 on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Pennington First Aid Squad, 110 Broemel Place, Pennington. Arrangements are by the Blackwell Memorial Home, Pennington, for condolences visit website at

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Previous Events

Memorial Service




1:00 PM 2/10/2018 1:00:00 PM - 1:45 PM 2/10/2018 1:45:00 PM
St Matthews Episcopal Church

300 S Main St
Pennington, NJ 08534

St Matthews Episcopal Church
300 S Main St Pennington 08534 NJ
United States

Cemetery Details


Private Final Resting Place
United States

Memorial Contribution

Pennington First Aid Squad

110 Broemel Place
Pennington, NJ 08534

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