John Ford, Jr., 88

John L. Ford, Jr. passed away Oct. 16. He was born in Wabash, to John L. Ford, Sr. and Kathryn Ebbinghouse Ford on Sept. 9, 1926.  John was a loving husband, father and valued member of his extended family and friends. His quiet, confident, positive attitude towards life and those he met will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

John graduated from Wabash High School in three and a half years in early 1944 at age 17. He wanted to join the Navy immediately but his father insisted he go to Purdue for one semester. Then he'd sign a release. John was in the Navy for two years, came back to Purdue and graduated with a degree in electrical engineering. He came with The Ford Meter Box Company, married Betty Addington, and they had three children, Christopher, David and Barbara. John, Betty and family moved to Dallas in 1953 and John was the first sales representative the company had west of the Mississippi River. John put 50,000 or more miles on a car every year traveling from California east to Louisiana.

John later married Ellen Oldaker and relocated to Phoenix, Ellen's home. But John continued to cover much of the west calling mostly on stocking distributors until Ford Meter Box started to hire new representatives in the late 60s and 70s. Most of John's travel then was by air. The company was without a foreign sales representative for a period of time, and John studied Spanish and made many trips to Latin America.

In his later years, his love of the musical arts led him to become a principal supporter of the Phoenix Symphony, the Phoenix Chorale, and the Phoenix Ballet.  He supported the Central United Methodist Church as an usher, volunteer groundskeeper, and financial supporter for 40 years.  He is survived by his wife, Ellen Ford; sister-in-law, Jo Oldaker; sisters, Elizabeth Sayman, Louise Leander, and Helen Trask; children, Chris, David, and Barbara Ford; five grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Services were held at the Central United Methodist Church, 1875 North Central Ave., Phoenix, on Oct. 25. 

Memorial contributions may be made to the Phoenix Symphony, the Phoenix Ballet, the Phoenix Chorale, or the Central United Methodist Church in Phoenix.

Posted on 2014 Nov 03