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James E France

December 8, 1937 ~ December 13, 2023 (age 86) 86 Years Old

James France Obituary

James E. France 

James Edward France (Jim) of North Canton, Ohio, born December 8,1937 passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, December 13, 2023, at the age of 86, as a result of complications from injuries suffered in an automobile accident in June of this year.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Donald and Veronica (Duplain) France; siblings Paul France, Donna (Bud) Porter, Mary Jane (Floyd) Baxter, and Edward (Rosie) France. 

Jim was a graduate of Central Catholic High School in Canton, earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Kent State University, and held his insurance CPCU.  He was a long-time member of St. Joseph Catholic Church, as well as a 38-year friend of Bill W.  After spending one year at the Athenaeum of Ohio, he had a diverse career first as an educator, then spent much of his career in the insurance industry, and intermittently drove tour buses and other transportation services, which he loved, and after retirement served part-time on staff as a caregiver for Life Bridge Services. 

Jim was the quintessential patriarch of France family joke telling and he never met a stranger.  He found great joy in telling stories and was always proud to share news about his children and grandchildren.  He also loved to read and play very “spirited” games of cards with pinochle and euchre being his favorites. In his younger years, he was an active member of the Canton Council #341, Knights of Columbus, attaining 4th degree knighthood and had fun acting in several plays as a member of the Players Guild Theatre in Van Wert, OH.  His life’s passion was helping people in their life journeys to also come to know Bill W., which greatly helped countless individuals.

Jim leaves behind a legacy of love, humor, and compassion.  He is survived by his devoted spouse of 60 years, Patricia (Baker) France; their children Chris, Greg (Dorie), Ken, and Becky (Jeff) Henderson; grandchildren Katelyn, Lindsay (Daniel), Mark, Jack (Annie), Anna (Matthew), Jake, Maddie, Emmitt, Nate, and Maren; great grandchildren Theo, Joseph, and Elodie. He and his jokes will be deeply missed by his extended family, friends, and all those whose lives he touched. 

A funeral to honor Jim's life will be held at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Canton, OH on Friday, December 29th, 2023, at 11:00AM with Fr. Edward L. Beneleit as celebrant. Visitation at the church will be held from 10:00AM-11:00AM, with a celebration of life luncheon following mass at the church. A private burial for the family will take place in Resurrection Cemetery, Lewis Center, OH at a later date. Friends and family can share thoughts and condolences online at  In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests donations to be made on behalf of James E. France to St. Joseph Catholic Church or St. Peter Catholic Church in Canton, OH, as he held their missions close to his heart.

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December 29, 2023

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
St. Joseph Catholic Church Canton
2427 West Tuscarawas Street
Canton, OH 44708

Funeral Mass
December 29, 2023

11:00 AM
St. Joseph Catholic Church Canton
2427 West Tuscarawas Street
Canton, OH 44708


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