Obituary of Joseph A. French
Joseph Aloysius French
Joseph Aloysius French, 66, of Douglaston, NY passed away on January 30, 2023 surrounded by his family after a courageous two year battle with leukemia. Throughout Joe’s remarkable life, he touched so many with his compassion, loyalty, and generosity.
Joe was born on July 25, 1956 in Hoboken, NJ to the late Margaret and Joseph French, and was raised in Atlantic Highlands, NJ with his beloved siblings Elizabeth, Tara and Chirstopher. He lived for over 35 years in Douglaston, NY where he and his wife, Moira Elizabeth Casey, raised their three daughters, Nessa, Caroline, and Madeleine. Joe’s pride and love for his wife and family were unwavering.
Joe had a exceptional ability to connect with people, and leaves behind so many friends and family who will remember his joy for life. He loved to tell a colorful story and share his memories and sentiments. A drive around “the point” in Douglas Manor or his beloved Sandy Hook, NJ, would always prompt a trip down memory lane. Regardless of the occasion, Joe shared rich stories that included detailed dates and locations, highlighted with laughter and warm remembrances. Joe’s loyalty, integrity, and determination were admired by all who knew him, in both his professional and personal life.
Joe was proud to be a life-long learner and started his education at Saint Agnes School in Atlantic Highlands, NJ. He graduated from Mater Dei High School in New Monmouth NJ, in 1974 and remained involved in the school as a member of its Board of Trustees for several years. He graduated with highest honors from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill with a B.A. in American Studies in 1979 and was a lifelong Tarheels fan. He was a member of the Chi Psi fraternity, class of '79. Joe met his wife Moira and received his Juris Doctorate degree from the Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law and in recent years was a member of the Board of Visitors of the law school. He had fond memories and cherished the friendships he made at both universities.
Prior to his professional career, Joe fondly recalled jobs delivering newspapers for the Newark Star Ledger, and working maintenance (or as he referred to it, “shoreline restoration”) at Sandy Hook Gateway National Park. He began his legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in Brooklyn, NY, where he honed his skills as a trial attorney in the narcotics and homicide Bureaus. He was a member of the New York State Bar Association, New York and Queens County Bar Associations, the Brehon Law Society, and several other professional organizations.
Joe began his own law practice in 2000, and was the principal partner at French and Casey LLP, Manhattan, NY. Joe tried well over 100 cases in his career, argued before the appellate courts in the First and Second Departments, frequently contributed articles to legal publications, and worked with several professional legal organizations, including serving as a Special Master for the Supreme Court in New York County.
Joe was active in numerous community and charitable organizations. He served as the Vice President and President of the Douglaston Civic Association, as Vice President, Legal Committee Chair and Pier & Beach Chair of the Douglas Manor Association, and on the Board of the Douglaston Club. Joe served and led with wisdom and heart, leaving a legacy for the next generation to follow.
Joe received many awards for his support of non-profit organizations working on community-building and education issues. In 2022, Joe was deeply honored to receive Mater Dei Prep School’s Frank Outwater Award for Lifetime Achievements. In 2018, both he and his wife Moira Casey were awarded with Distinguished Alumni Awards by the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America. He served until his death on the Board of Directors for the New York Edge/Sports and Arts in Schools Foundation (New York Edge).
He will be forever missed by his wife Moira Casey and his daughters Nessa French of Sunnyside, Queens NY, Caroline (Mark) French of Gardiner, NY and Madeleine French of Los Angeles CA. He also leaves behind his sisters Elizabeth French, Atlantic Highlands, NJ, Tara French, Sea Bright, NJ, his brother Christopher (Terri) French, Greensboro, NC, his nephews Patrick (Alex) French, Washington, DC and Timothy French, Raleigh, NC, his beloved French cousins, and his cherished Casey Family in-law.
Joe will be waked at Fairchild Sons Funeral Home, Manhasset, NY on Friday, February 3rd, from 3 pm to 7pm. There will be a Memorial Service on Saturday, February 4th at 2:30 pm at the Community Church of Douglaston, Douglaston NY.
In lieu of flowers, please consider: * Donating blood or platelets as Joe was a frequent recipient of these life saving molecules. * Making a donation to New York Edge, whose mission is to help bridge the opportunity gap among students in underinvested communities through sports and arts programs. Joe was honored to serve on the NY Edge board for nine years. Gifts can also be sent to New York Edge, 58-12 Queens Boulevard, Suite 1, Woodside, NY 11377. * Making a donation to the Leukemia Lymphoma Society which is working to advance blood cancer research and treatment.