Richard Vaughn French
Richard Vaughn French
  • February 8, 1966 - December 6, 2017
  • Arlington, Virginia

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Richard Vaughn French, 51, passed away on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 at his home in Arlington, VA. A native of Daniels, West Virginia, Rick graduated from Shady Spring High School in 1984. He attended West Virginia University where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 1988 and a Master of Public Administration in 1989. Rick served in the offices of both West Virginia Senator John D. Rockefeller IV and Congressman Nick Joe Rahall II.

In 1990, Rick began his 21-year career at the United States Department of Labor where he served in the career Senior Executive Service with roles as Deputy Executive Secretary, Director of Strategic Performance Planning and Deputy Director, Departmental Budget Center. Following his federal career, he returned to his Alma Mater to serve as a full-time resource in the nation's capital to expand West Virginia University's focus and prominence in federal and non-governmental circles.

Rick was honored to serve on the boards of several organizations, including the Board of Directors of the WVU National Capital Area Chapter Alumni Association, the WVU Eberly College of Arts and Sciences Visiting Committee, and as Vice President of the Pearl S. Buck Birthplace Foundation Board of Directors.

Rick is survived by his wife of 21 years, Jamie Hart French of Arlington, VA; mother Betty Jo Hutchison French of Daniels, WV; siblings David French (Barbara) of Daniels, WV, Judy Bealulieu of Eau Claire, WI, and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Zina H. French of Daniels, WV.

Friends may call at the French Home, 2710 S. Hayes St., Arlington, VA on Tuesday, December 12 from 4-8 p.m. A memorial service will be held at the First Baptist Church, 422 Neville Street, Beckley, WV on Sunday, December 17 at 2:00 p.m.

As proud native West Virginians, Rick and Jamie endowed a West Virginia University scholarship in honor/memory of both of their parents. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked for donations to be made in Rick's memory. Checks (payable to the WVU Foundation, with French-Hart Family Scholarship 3Z287 in the memo section), may be sent to One Waterfront Place, 7th Floor, PO Box 1650, Morgantown, WV 26507. Donations may also be made to Second Chance Animal Rescue of Puerto Rico at