Member Spotlight: Chris and Patty French

UUFE Member Spotlight introduces everyone to our members, whether they have recently joined or go back a few years. Below is a piece written by Patty French about her and her husband, Chris, who have provided among many things beautiful music for our services.

We moved to Northern Indiana from Southern California in the spring of 1997 with 2-year-old Becky, almost-4-year-old Lizzie, and Abbie to be born in August. We also had a cat, a baby grand piano, and a 1931 Model A. The Selmer Company had offered Chris a job here, and we decided it was time — before the girls came of school age in L.A. county — to start something new. 

We found UUFE right away (in the phone book, actually!) and felt at home. Both of us had been raised Catholic, and though we knew that Catholicism was not what we wanted for our family, still we did want something. Chris appreciated the value of “ethics without dogma,” and Patty thought, “I’ve been a UU all my adult life, and just not known it!”

Of all the gifts and blessings to come from being members of UUFE, the first thing that comes to mind for both of us is the way this Beloved Community surrounded us with love and helped to keep us afloat after the unfathomable loss of our wonderful Becky. We cannot imagine how we would have survived without that support and understanding from those who shared our grief.

Patty remembers her time on the Governing Board as a welcome challenge and an opportunity to develop relationships within the congregation. It also helped to deepen her understanding and appreciation of the Unitarian Universalist faith. For Chris, the three years he spent on the Ministerial Search Committee were memorable, and helped him to grow and learn in ways that he wouldn’t have, otherwise. Chris also loves playing music for UUFE because, “They are the BEST audience.” We both are grateful for the opportunities we’ve had to serve UUFE.

As for interests, hobbies, and “what makes us happy”: Patty enjoys music, conversation, puzzles, and cooking. Chris enjoys music, gardening, working with his hands, and eating whatever Patty cooks! We also love spending time at our primitive cabin near Paw Paw, Michigan, and visiting Lizzie & Abbie in Boulder, Colorado. We just celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary, which is what makes us happiest of all.

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