OBITUARY

John B. Ford

4 October , 192513 April , 2019
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On April 13, 2019, retired Air Force Master Sergeant John Berl Ford earned his final set of wings. He was born on October 4, 1925, in Hartford Tennessee, one of 5 children of Cephus Ford and Allie Raines Ford. He grew up on the family farm with his siblings Robert, Reuben, Maxine and Herbert Ford. As a young fellow, he moved to New Jersey to find work, initially finding factory work. He ultimately made the decision to serve his country in 1943, initially serving in the Navy. He later joined the Air Force and served during World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. He loved serving his country, which gave him the opportunity to travel worldwide as an aerial photographer, including flying aerial photographic missions during the Cuban Crisis. He accumulated over 5000 hours of flight time and retired from the Air Force in 1969. He then served his country for more than 20 years as a Federal civilian, initially working for the National Hurricane Center (NOAA) in Miami, Florida, and also at the Department of the Navy in Washington, DC. His love of country extended also to his fellow veterans who served. After retiring from a Military and Civilian career he stayed active by creating a "hobby" as a devoted informal advocate to help his fellow veterans become educated about veterans benefits and advising them to seek out the Disabled American Veterans Organization (DAV). He was so skilled in his one on one informal marketing campaign that he received a number of cards and letters throughout the remainder of his life from veterans who wished to express their appreciation for his help guiding them in the direction to obtain benefits. He was a member of the DAV, American Legion, VFW, and NARFE organizations. He was recognized by American Legion Post 309, Palmetto, FL on his 90th birthday which surprised and greatly pleased him. Earlier when he was 87, his local Homeowners Association also recognized his efforts helping veterans since he was regularly seen around Parrish, FL, and the surrounding area offering information packages and encouraging his fellow veterans to submit claims. As a family man, he was the ultimate role model on how to live a courageous, proud, and respectful life, while at the same time being humble, kind hearted and generous. He was known to also be a "character" and a joker, while also living a life of honesty and unwavering principles. He could also be quick to make his opinion known if he felt more structure or organization was called for, while his social abilities, jokes, and quick wit created many smiles and laughter. He is survived by his devoted and loving wife Lillian Crocker Ford of 69 years, and his daughter Bonnie Acoveno and son-in- law Kevin. He is also survived by his grandson David M. Leapley, step grandchildren, Kevin Acoveno Jr, Colby Acoveno, and Courtney Townsend, and their families. His granddaughter, Amy Acoveno predeceased him in 2015. He has 10 great grandchildren: Hailey Leapley, Natalie Meabon, Sydney, Emma, Joshua, and Maddie Townsend, and Leah, Ethan, Kaitlyn, and Tyler Acoveno. Throughout their school years, a number of them and other young extended Ford family members have done history projects, using his life experiences as a way of learning and reporting on military history. He was delighted as a great grandfather and as a great uncle to share his experiences with them. Services will be held at Groover Funeral Home, 1400 36th Avenue East, Ellenton, FL 34222, Visitation will be on Monday, April 22, from 5:00pm-7:00pm. Service and Committal dedication with military honors will be on Tuesday, April 23, at 10:30am. Memorial contributions to the Disabled American Veterans Organization (DAV) in memory of John B. Ford are welcomed at www.dav.org, by calling 877 426-2838 or mailing to DAV, PO Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45240

Services

  • Visitation Monday, 22 April , 2019
  • Funeral Service Tuesday, 23 April , 2019

Memories

John B. Ford

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joseph LYON

26 April 2019

My wife Ann & I met John , Lillian about 10 yrs. ago . We were at a restaurant , John walked by , stopped at our table and said my name is John Ford are you a Veteran ? We saw him do this countless times over the years . His goal was to help Veterans get through the V.A. system to obtain the benefits that were due us & I am one of the many he guided through that maze .. Thanks John from all the Veterans that you helped & the many years of service you gave our country . I believe God interviews all people who make it to the Pearly Gates , when he gets to you he needs to bring a comfortable chair because you have some stories to tell . I also know how you will greet him --- My Name Is John Ford Are You A Veteran ?? R.I.P. John , Ann & I enjoyed you & Lillians company , it was our honor to call you a friend ... Danny Lyon U.S.M.C. Vietnam Veteran

Jim & Pam Minichiello

17 April 2019

Our memory of this extraordinary man goes back twenty - five years when we first met him in Maryland. A kind and caring person who always put his family first. He had a big heart and was always concerned about the welfare of his family and friends. Over his ninety-three years on this earth, he has experienced many things but most importantly being married to the love of his life, Lillian. He helped to raise and guide his daughter Bonnie as much as possible as he traveled the globe as a member of the Air Force who was always flying here and there. We will miss his stories about the Air Force back during WW II and up through Vietnam. If you knew John, then you knew he was a talker. We enjoyed his stories even if we were hearing them for the second time. He was a true Patriot who spent his later years helping to guide many other Air Force retirees in the art of filing for and collecting the benefits owed to them. A caring man who we will miss greatly!

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