1922 - 2012
Don Ford, 90, passed away peacefully in Medford, December 29, 2012, with family members at his side. Don was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to Patrick and Mabel Ford. He married the love of his life, Lorraine Wilson, August 1946 in Cedar Rapids.
He spent 32 years in the military achieving the rank of colonel, having enlisted in the Army in 1942, then the Air Force, serving until his retirement in 1974. He served in the 2nd Armored Division in Europe during WWII, then the Korean conflict. Col. Ford earned three Meritorious Service Medals, and a Bronze Star. Upon his retirement, he worked for the State of Oregon in various positions until his second retirement in 1980.
As a career military man, the family lived throughout the United States and abroad in Japan and Iceland. In 1970 Don accepted his last military assignment as the senior officer of the USAF ROTC program at the University of Oregon in Eugene. Since his retirement, the family has called Eugene home.
Don loved education and was a life-long learner. He received his bachelors degree in economics-education from COE College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 1943, and his master of arts in education-psychology from Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. in 1958. Don earned his doctorate degree in education-latin american studies from St. Louis University, St. Louis, Mo. in 1966. Finally, he completed a post doctorate fellowship at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Ore. in 1974. He continued his education through reading, traveling and taking continuing education classes throughout his retirement.
Don received many awards and citations throughout his military and civilian careers. He worked extensively for the Latino Center in Eugene, where he regularly practiced his Spanish.
Don was a member of St. Jude Parish in Eugene, and Shepherd of the Valley Catholic Church in Central Point, Ore. He was an active member of the Knights of Columbus having achieved the Honors of the Fourth Degree.
Don and Lorraine loved to travel and throughout their lives took many trips abroad and to every part of the United States.
Don is survived by his brother, Robert Ford, and wife, Arlis, of Hiawatha, Iowa; sisters-in-law, Patty Ford, of Seattle, Wash., and Nadine Klima, of Palm Harbor, Fla; and children, Dan, and wife, Yong, of Seoul, South Korea, Chris Ford, of Keller, Texas, Jim, and wife, Sandie, of Ashland, Steve, and wife, Babs, of Medford, and Leslie Sully, and husband, Henry, of Columbia, S.C. He had eight grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter. He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Lorraine; and his brother, Gene Ford.
Dad was a great friend, father, veteran, and hero. He will be remembered for his wit and ability to make all who knew and loved him laugh. We know he is with Lorraine forever traveling with angels.
A memorial service will be held at Perl Funeral Home in Medford, Ore. at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, January 5, 2013.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances can be sent to COE College Foundation, 1220 First Ave. NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402; or Jesuit Association, 4511 W. Pine Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63108.