Frenchy began his earthly journey in Fort Totten, ND to Mary Jane (Grandbois) Belgarde and Israel Gourd on April 8, 1940. He was soon adopted by Agnes Littlewind-Brown and Steve Brown of Crow Hill where he was raised with his siblings and many relatives.
He started work at young age on farms pulling rocks and placing them into piles. He attended residential school at mission and made many memories with a lot of people along with Aloysius Cloud; after he graduated he attended Haskell Indian College for two years while he lived there he roomed with Deacon Tony McDonald. He joined the United States Air Force in 1960. While in the Air Force he was an aircraft mechanic and he had traveled to every state in the United States except for Hawaii. Also during this time he became acquainted with Israel and his Gourd brothers and sisters.
After an honorable discharge, he met Cynthia Stone. He returned home and entered into the Vocational program and traveled to California with a few of his relatives including Carl WalkingEagle, and a few others.
He had six children with Cynthia, they moved to St. Paul until she passed. Frenchy moved back to Crow Hill and started working, helping his community and relatives. He worked for different Tribal programs.
During this he met Connie Lohnes, and had two children. He was an active person he played in the community softball games along with connecting with his Belgarde and Thompson brothers and sisters. He also became a Tribal Council Representative for a short term. After being on council he continued to work for the HIP program.
He moved to Fort Totten in 1989 to help maintain the housing development behind the Four Winds School, and then began to work for the BIA at the Four Winds School in their maintenance department. He joined the Rent-to-Buy Program and moved into his last home on Skyline Drive. He later retired with his twenty years of service to the government.
During his retirement he continued to help anyone who needed it. He enjoyed his daily drives. He was a proud man, he carried himself in a presentable manner, always joking and teasing when visiting people.
Frenchy embodied the term resilience. In 2014 he had big stroke that made him paralyzed on his right side, but he learned to live with his disability until he knew he couldn’t and he admitted himself into Eventide Heartland. He made many friends there with the staff and residents. He was a great man, a kind-hearted man, a protector and great provider. He will be greatly missed by many. He lived a long, fulfilled life.
Frenchy is survived by his loving family.
His children: Mike (Darlene) Stone, East Grand Forks, twin Charles (Violet) Stone, Sioux Falls, SD, Lynette Stone, St. Paul. MN, Collette (Jason Thompson) Brown, Warwick and Jason Brown, St. Michael.
Grandchildren: Summer, Holly, Michelle, and Jonathan-Aylssa-Charles Jr. and Steven-Donovan, Jordan and Nino-Wyatt, Tayia and Neela-Jeremiah and Aiden; Brothers: Alfred Thompson, Robert Thompson, Oliver Gourd; Sisters: Lilly Belgarde Owlboy, Sheila Thompson, Louella Thompson, Beth Gourd, Debbie Gourd;Special Nephew:Porfirio Diaz Jr.;Special Niece: Michelle Thomas; Many great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins who looked up to him and relied on him for direction.
He was preceded in death by most recently his sons Steven Stone, Kelly Stone, niece Twyla Feather and nephew Robert Oldrock along with many grandchildren, nieces, nephews, brothers and sisters.
Pallbearers: Marty Alex, Robert Thompson Jr, Jason J Thompson, Wyatt Jetty, Stuart Lohnes, and Ethan Lohnes.
Honorary Pallbearers: Eventide Heartland CNAs and Nurses, Dr. Downs, Penny Haugen, Ron and Mary Lohnes, Lorraine Greybear family, Myra Pearson, Lonna and Richard Street, Jamie Belgarde, Dawn Adams, Maza OldRock, Robin Lawrence, Sandy Joramo, Heather Belgarde, Mena de la Paz, John Chaske family, Lisa Georgeson, Waynita Chaske, Rena Lohnes, Doug Yankton, Boyd and Faye Jetty, Wanda Trottier, Kylie Gourneau-Jetty, Todd Belgarde, Chris Bustos Sr., Shana Lohnes, Penny Yankton, Tricia Adams.
The Wake for Frenchy will be held on Thursday, October 28, 2021 beginning at 5:00 p.m. with a Prayer Service at 7:00 p.m. at the Crow Hill Recreation Center, rural Fort Totten. The procession to Crow Hill will leave on Thursday at 4:00 p.m. from City Plaza, Devils Lake. Funeral Services will be on Friday, October 29, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. also at the Crow Hill Recreation Center with burial in St. Jerome's Cemetery with Military Honors accorded by the Spirit Lake Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #6547.