After a long struggle with multiple, serious health conditions, Jim Ford, 87, died peacefully on Friday, January 25, 2019, with his wife, daughter, son, his four grandchildren and their spouses/sweethearts by his bedside. His last words were, “I want peace.” His request was granted.
Jim was born in Groesbeck, Texas, to Jesse Stone Ford and Eddie Manning Ford. He worked with his dad at their dairy from age 6 and delivered lots of bottles of milk to many doorsteps. He attended schools in Groesbeck, TX and graduated from Groesbeck High School at age 16. In school, he enjoyed football, basketball, and FFA. After high school, he tried college for 1 1/2 years but just wasn’t ready for that journey; so, he enlisted in the United States Air Force and served 4 years as an aircraft mechanic. While serving his tour, he earned the National Defense Service Medal and the Good Conduct Medal. He was honorably discharged on June 15, 1956.
In his new life as a civilian, he worked at General Dynamics in Garland, Texas for a few years until he decided he probably should try college again. He took advantage of the GI Bill and enrolled at Sam Houston State College (now SHSU) in Huntsville, Texas. At SAM he joined the Raven Social Club where he made lifelong friends. The Ravens became the Kappa Alpha fraternity. More importantly, SAM is where on a blind date, he met Dell Davis. They had an interesting courtship in college and after where they both ended up working for the same retail business, Sanger-Harris Department Store in Dallas, TX. Also, Jim worked for James K. Wilson’s, fine menswear store before he left the retail business and began his career in sales for several wholesale fashion manufacturers and International Shoe Company. Later, he worked for Texas Retailers Association. His sales and association positions required him to travel the whole state of Texas and short stints traveling Louisiana and Arkansas. To the delight of his family, he knew the best places to eat in almost every little town he serviced.
Jim married his college sweetheart Dell in 1962. They lived in Garland where his baby daughter Dana Tracee was born; moved to West Texas for a couple of years and were transferred back to the Dallas area where his baby son J. William was born in 1965. After moving to and living for a year in Alexandria, LA, he moved his family to Austin, TX, their “dream city” and happily lived there for 31 years where they reared their children, attended their kids’ sports, school, and dance activities, enjoyed good friends: cooking together, dancing at favorite nightspots, traveling to South Padre and Port A, and being a 43 years member of the Capitol Rod and Gun Club on Lake Travis. He served the CRGC as president for two terms, on the board of directors, chaired the fish fry for many years, chaired the 40 year celebration, and co-sponsored the Hot Guts & 42 Domino Tournament for 25 years. Mainly, he found a place that provided his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren coming up, a place where they all learned to appreciate, enjoy, and respect the outdoors. All became and are becoming avid fishermen. Generations of friendships were founded on that sweet spot on Bee Creek. In his final move to Bastrop, TX in 2001, he enjoyed only a few years before ill health began limiting his “fun” activities.
Jim is survived by Dell, his wife of 57 years; daughter Tracee; son J.William, Jr.; grandchildren Tara Dattel Russey (Chris), Michelle Ford (Jason), James Jesse Ford (Jessica), Taryn Dell Hisle (Gena’ve); great-granddaughter Isolde Linder and great-grandson Maximus Smith; nephews Steven Rogers (Karen), Stanton Rogers (Phyllis), Stephanie Schneider (Mike); sister-inlaw Pat Walker, nephews Kelly Walker, and Randy Walker.
He was predeceased by his parents, his sister Anabel Ford Rogers, brother-in-law John Rogers, in-laws Walter and Gussie Michon, brother-in-law Ernie Walker.
Jim did not want a traditional church funeral; he wasn’t a church-going man, BUT he was a believing man and a praying man. His church was an early morning sunrise or an evening sunset or a full moon on his beloved Lake Travis. On February 16, 2019, he will be honored and celebrated with a memorial in “his church” outdoors on the lake amid God’s natural beauty at the Capitol Rod and Gun Club, 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. with loving family, good friends, tasty food, and favorite music to touch your heart and move your dancing feet.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Capitol Rod and Gun Club Kids Fishing Rodeo,
20206 Rod and Gun Club Road, Spicewood, TX 78669; a veterans organization; or to a charity of your choosing.
Correspondence to family may be sent to : 18 Lost Pines Avenue, Bastrop, TX 78602