John Robert Ford, 89, a resident of Harrisonburg, passed away Monday, Oct. 8, 2012, at Sunnyside Retirement Community.
He was born May 25, 1923, in Peoria, Ill., and was the son of the late Albert W. and Anna Ellis Ford.
John went to Oklahoma A&M on a track scholarship. He was a colonel in the U.S. Air Force when he retired in 1977 from the Pentagon. His tour of duties went from Hawaii to Pakistan. He worked with missiles at Vandenberg A.F.B. in California to the borders of Mexico in New Mexico to wind tunnels at Langley, Va., Hanscom Field in Boston, flying cargo from Charleston, S.C. He received the Silver and Bronze stars during his career. His passion was flying. He bought, at his wife’s urging, a trainer and then a Cessna. He and two others built a biplane.
John was a member of the Young Eagles, Military Officers Association, Aircraft Owners and Pilot Association and Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary “Dee” Doloris Kennedy Ford, and a daughter, Candace Ford Blatt.
He is survived by two daughters, Catherine Elizabeth Hullett and husband, Arthur J. III, of Glen Allen, Va., Cheryl Ann Hawkins and husband, A. David, of Rustburg, Va.; one son, John R. Ford Jr. and wife, Cheryl Lynn, of Leesburg, Va.; eight grandchildren, Steven Ford Hensley and wife, Mary, Tracy Ann Hawkins and husband, Samuel, Allen Ford Hawkins, Arthur Jay Hullett IV, Stacy Elizabeth Cullivan and husband, Justin, Michael Robert Ford, Matthew Ryan Ford, and Daniel Benjamin Ford; and 12 great-grandchildren. He was the last surviving member of his immediate family.
The family will receive friends 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, at Lindsey Funeral Home in Harrisonburg.
A funeral service will be held 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, at the Chapel of the Funeral Home with Father Joseph Goldsmith officiating. Burial will be at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.
Memorial contributions may be sent to Rockingham-Harrisonburg SPCA, P.O. Box 413, Harrisonburg, VA 22803, or Sunnyside Presbyterian Retirement Community, 3935 Sunnyside Drive, Harrisonburg, VA 22801.
Online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.lindseyharrisonburg.com.