After an all too brief but courageous battle with cancer, the family of James “Jim” L. Ford would like to announce his passing. Lately of Ocala, Florida, James dedicated his life to the education and evolution of his family and every person who crossed his path. On Saturday, August 27th died peacefully at Florida University/ Shands hospital.
It is difficult to find Little Valley, in the southern tier of New York State, but the 1,675 person population once included my dad and his parents, Willow and Donald Ford. His maternal grandmother, Carlie Ford instilled into young “Jimmy Louis” the love of learning, including any string, wind or percussive instrument he could put his hands on. An extremely gifted mathematician and budding Scientist found his way to Clarkson University where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and his Master’s degree in Business management while a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army reserves. It was in Northern New York that he met the love of his life, Penelope Rowell. Their modest backgrounds and love of music and academic pursuits brought this future Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Electrical Engineer together.
Jim Ford spent 31 years in service to the New York Power Authority culminating in Resident Manager Positions at the St. Lawrence hydroelectric project in Massena, and finally the Niagara Project in Niagara Falls, New York. When he retired in 2002, he was a leader in his field and able to start his own consulting company, Ford Group Inc. He found himself working on power projects on the West Coast. It was only a few years ago he retired to live the life of an accomplished Pianist and avid Golfer.
James L. Ford is survived by his wife of 54 years, Penelope Ford of Ocala, Florida and their children, Jordan N. Ford of Greensboro, Georgia, Jessica E. Ford of Massena, New York and Tobias D. Ford and his wife, Linda Mundy of Annapolis, Maryland. In addition, he has five grandchildren, James M. Donnelly, Orion C. Ford, Madeline D. Ford, Carlie A. Donnelly, and Aristotle D. Ford. As James Ford was born in Gloster, Mississippi, he is also survived by family in that area as well.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Baldwin Brothers of Ocala. A private family memorial service will be held in the home, August 31st, officiated by Rev. Drena Miller. Flowers can be sent to the home at 6431 SW 97th Terrace Road., Ocala, Florida 34481. In lieu of flowers, any donations can be made to Ocala West United Methodist Church, SW 15th Street Ocala, Florida, where Jim and Penelope were members.