In 1971, he joined the US Army and moved to Texas until he deployed to Vietnam. He proudly served as a medevac (medic) on the battlefield, retrieving and caring for wounded soldiers and bringing them back to safety by helicopter. During his two tours of service in the Army, he was awarded the Silver Star, given to members of the armed forces for gallantry in action. Upon his service completion, he proudly joined the ranks of Vietnam Veterans and moved back to New York.
He then met and married Marie Lourdes. They were blessed with his firstborn son Jean Robert Jr. affectionately known as Chico, nicknamed after the 70's show "Chico and the Man."
Jean Robert then worked as a chauffeur for some time and other various jobs while continuing his travels to Canada and Haiti. By the 80's while in Haiti, he met and married Carolle. They subsequently moved to Florida, where they settled and were blessed with three children- 2 sons Carl, Alex, and their daughter Melissa.
In Florida, he worked for a retired judge, Mr. Leibowitz as a caregiver/assistant. Mr. Leibowitz treated him as a son and a friend. After the judge's passing, Jean Robert became an entrepreneur like his older brother Leslie and opened a tire shop called Rainbow Tires, and he sold it within a short time and followed his true passion for culinary arts. He pursued his heart's desire by opening a beachfront restaurant in Haiti. His dream was short-lived due to the country's economic conditions causing him to close and return to the states. Upon his return, he briefly lived in Maryland then joined Carolle and the kids in Boston. He pridefully worked as an installation technician and frequently took his son Alex to work with him and, on occasion, Carl and Melissa. Jean worked until he could no longer physically keep up with the job's physical demands, which lead to his resignation.
Jean Robert Sr. then moved to Virginia in 2007 to live with his daughter Chantal. In the onset, he often traveled to Haiti, where he maintained a position as a manager; for a company supervising meal services delivered to Haitian government officials. Due to a change of contract and ongoing health concerns, he left his position and remained in Virginia. As a result, he returned to his favorite pastime, cooking and selling Caribbean dishes at the airport and local beauty and barbershops. He earned great respect through his God-given gift that he shared with much love as "Chef French Creole." He turned every meal into a culinary masterpiece that tantalized all palates. His cooking was so incredible that he was featured in a local newspaper for his succulent skills the first time he took part in a local food festival.
Jean Robert's faith in God was demonstrated in his love and compassion for others. He had a giant heart for helping and protecting the less fortunate. He fought for his country, and on numerous occasions, fought just as adamantly for the poor. He once stood firmly between a homeless man who was being attacked and abused by a restaurant owner for seeking food and refuge; despite the threat of danger to his own life.
Although he was well known for his cooking, to experience him is to know that he was the original LL Cool Jean (Ladies Lovin Cool Jean). His cars were his prized possessions, and his passion for music was second to none. There was no "oldie but goodie" song he didn't know in English, French, Spanish, and Creole. He had a robust collection of model cars, movies, and music which he faithfully memorialized on his signature customized wall-units and sound system.
He was charismatic and witty, but his candid sense of humor was his calling card. He left a powerful first impression with everyone he encountered. He proudly wore his veteran hats and pins of valor and was often honored by strangers for his service with a warm handshake or by offering to pay for his meals in acknowledgment of his sacrifice.
He was a giant in his realm and left a powerful mark wherever he landed. His crazy unconditional love made a difference in everyone's heart. To meet him once was to remember and love him forever. He was one of a kind, chock-full of passion, compassion, genuine, and loving. Though imperfect, you knew he was giving you his very best.
On December 11, 2018, after living in and serving this country, Mr. Jean Robert French Sr. officially and proudly became a citizen of the United States of America. In September 2019, he transitioned from Virginia to Boston until his Sunset on February 10, 2021.
Jean Robert Sr. was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers (Leslie and Lionel)
He is survived by his oldest sister Irene and two younger siblings Norice and Dimitri.
His five children: Chantal, Jean Robert Jr, Carl, Alex, and Melissa
Ten grandchildren: Tatiana, Tylor, Chyna, Jaydin, Thai, Jade, Jermaine, Nyah, Jalex, and Jalise. He is loved and will be missed by family, friends, and many that are too numerous to count. He was not a saint nor an angel but certainly shines amongst the STARS!
In keeping with the Covid-19 guidelines, which include face coverings, social distancing and wait times in line due to temporary limited capacity, relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend visitation period on Monday, February 22nd from 9:00 – 11:00 AM in the Cartwright Funeral Home, 419 No. Main St (Rt. 28), Randolph. A private Funeral Mass will be celebrated in St. Bernadette Church, Randolph. Burial will follow in the Massachusetts National Cemetery, Bourne.
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