Thomas Ford, long time Navy veteran, educator, loving husband and father passes

Thomas Ford
Thomas Ford

Thomas H. Ford’s ship sailed for the last time on Saturday, June 20th, at the age of 82. Tom was born August 8th, 1937, in Atlantic City, NJ, to Thomas and Frances Ford. After graduating high school in 1955, he joined the Navy. During a leave period, he reunited with his childhood friend from age 14, D. Constance Jackson, and they were married on January 23rd, 1960.

During his over 20-year Naval career, he sailed many aircraft carriers, visited numerous ports, and was stationed at various bases to include NAS Lemoore to which he first assigned in 1962. 

After retiring from the Navy as a Chief Aviation Electronics Technician, he served another 30 years as a Supervisor with Naval Aviation Engineering Service Unit (NAESU) Detachment – Lemoore, retiring in 1975.

Because of his love for youth and education, he decided to become an educator.  Tom earned his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with a minor in African American studies and taught at all levels from elementary school to professor at the College of the Sequoias.  He was a lifetime member of the Fleet Reserve Association for over 44 years and was the West Coast Regional President from 1997-1998. He was also a member of the NAACP, Lemoore Golf Club, and a longtime California Interscholastic Federation and Amateur Softball Association official in addition to serving on countless civic committees.

Thomas is survived by his loving wife of 60 years D. Connie Ford, 3 children: Melisunde Cox of Hanford, Thomas E. Ford of Philadelphia and Monita Ford-Ware of Sacramento, 9 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, 3 great-great-grandchildren, 3 siblings: Robert Ford, Florence White, and Arthur Ford, and many who called him pops or poppa along with numerous nieces, nephews, and extended family.

He was preceded in death by his mother and father, Francis and Thomas R. Ford, sister Lillian, brothers Albert and Paul, and a great-grandson Daniel Gray.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, June 25th, from 4:00 – 7:00 P.M. at Phipps-Dale Funeral Chapel in Lemoore. A graveside service will be held on Friday at 9:00 A.M. at Lemoore Cemetery.

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