Johns-Ridout's Mortuary-Elmwood Chapel & Elmwood Cemetery & Mausoleum
800 Dennison Ave Sw, Birmingham, AL
Robert Grant FORD
September 9, 1933 – August 3, 2019
Robert Grant Ford MD
Robert G. Ford was born on September 9, 1933 in Jackson MS and entered heaven’s gates on August 3, 2019 in Birmingham, AL. He is predeceased by his parents David Ford and Mary Eliza Fryant Ford, along with siblings Tharon Ford Berg and David “Buddy” Ford. He is survived by his daughters Carrie Ford, Amy Ford Phillips, Tim Phillips (son in law), along with many nieces, nephews and cousins who are scattered throughout the country.
Growing up in Jackson MS, Robert went to Poindexter school. He enlisted in the National Guard and had an honorable discharge in 1956. He went on to graduate from Mississippi College and was in the first graduating class of the Ole Miss medical school. He was in the second group of students to enter Ole Miss medical school, where he had to complete two years of medical school in one year in order for the first and second year students to graduate as one class. After graduating medical school, he entered a medical transitional internship at UT-Memphis, where he married his first wife Yvonne Barrett Ford. After his internship in Memphis , he entered a Neurology residency at Mayo Clinic, Rochester MN from 1960 to 1963. He believed that one “practiced medicine” and always “studied medicine.” He believed that the world of neurology would always be growing. He studied EEG under Donald Klass MD, and he studied EMG under Ed Lambert MD. After residency, he was a pioneer as the first neurologist in private practice in Birmingham, AL in 1964, covering all hospitals by himself, except UAB, until in 1969 when he was joined by another Neurologist in 1969, followed by many other neurologists who came to Birmingham. Dr. Ford brought the first EMG machine, which he made with Dr. Lambert, to Birmingham, AL. He made a home in Mountain Brook, Alabama in the Brookwood Forest area with his family, where his two children graduated from the Mountain Brook school system.
Dr. Ford had a true passion for teaching EEG technologists in Alabama and across the United States. He loved his residents. So many technologists remember Dr. Ford for his teaching and his presiding over the ABRET Record Review for 8 years in the 1980s (American Board of Registered Electroencephalographic and Evoked Potential Technologists). To this day, his former technologists still care deeply for him, even until he passed.
He used to say that sometimes the correct answer to a question is “I don’t know.”
In the 1970s, he became a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology and achieved his EEG ABCN (American Board of Clinical Neurophysiology) and became a highly regarded speaker on Headaches, EEG, and Neurology.
Aside from neurology, he loved carving pumpkins at Halloween, carving soap animals, history, English, woodworking, gardening, going to “The Club,” bird watching, shooting a pistol, love for his pets, a passion for headaches and EEG, an avid reader, Alabama football, classic movies, the Bible, Berkshire Hathaway, family trips to Disney World and Callaway Gardens, impeccable taste in clothes, an amateur golfer, traveling, leading church singing, and even made a vinyl record of his singing.
“Robert G” had a dry sense of humor. Either you found him very funny or not at all. He had a kind heart and a great understanding for the scriptures. He loved funny sayings and jingles.
He had an affinity for the Metropolitan Opera of which he was a member of the Metropolitan Guild, and he met opera singers Renee Fleming and Renata Tabaldi , and he met with Frederica Von Stade a couple of times. He could hear one stanza of an aria and name the Opera that it came from. He loved
classical music and was a fan of Van Cliburn. He loved Arthur Fiedler and always made an effort to attend concerts with the family when he came to Birmingham. He took the family to several classical concerts, even if the family slept through the concert.
Dr. Ford became interested in the Titanic in the 1970s. He met Frankie Goldsmith, a Titanic survivor, interviewed Edwina Troutt MacKenzie, another Titanic survivor, and got to know the author Walter Lord.
Dr. Ford was a Warren Buffett fan, and met him on several occasions and is even mentioned in one of the books by Warren Buffett.
In the late 1980s, he started Ford Headache Clinic and was involved with the Headache Clinic until he retired. He had many employees who loved him.
On March 9, 2015, Dr. Ford’s life changed. His daughters had limited access to him, and they discovered many problems including that he had an uncontested divorce from his second wife, and was living alone in a huge house in a gated community while he had been suffering from dementia, which was later diagnosed as Alzheimer’s disease. It was discovered that Dr. Ford was involuntarily isolated in a gated community with no bed he could access, no working phone, no visible food in the refrigerator, no toilet paper, and no heat. He had a chair to sit in, but other furniture was missing from the house. With the help of an attorney, the last few years of his life were spent with his family and friends in a safe environment. With the sadness of isolation within the elderly community, Dr. Ford’s family successfully passed a bill in Alabama to fight Elder abuse. The bill was fueled by the Casey Kasem story of elder abuse and isolation. In Alabama because of Dr. Ford’s story, Alabama senate and House of Representatives enacted the “Robert G. Ford MD and Casey Kasem Visitation Act” so that other families won’t have to experience the same type of tragedy. With the problems of conservatorship and guardianship in the United States, many adult children are unable to visit their parents. Furthermore, many family members, adult children, or siblings, are unaware when a parent or sibling passes away. The “Robert G. Ford MD and Casey Kasem Visitation Act” gives adult children and relatives an avenue to pursue visitation rights as well as to be notified of a family member’s passing in a timely manner. His triumph over a horrific situation is one of his many crowning achievements.
A casual and loving celebration of Robert Grant Ford’s life will be held at graveside at Elmwood cemetery at 2 pm on Wednesday, August 7, 2019. We will meet at the Rideout Chapel at Elmwood between 1:30-2:00 pm prior to the service.
As an expression of sympathy, the family suggests sending memorial tax deductible contributions in the name of Robert G. Ford MD to:
1. Support the education of EEG or Neurodiagnostic technologists through ASET—the Neurodiagnostic Society Foundation: ASET Foundation 402 East Bannister Rd Suite A, Kansas City MO 64131-3019. www.asetfoundation.org
2. Support to end elder abuse. From Kerri Kasem: “the work of Kasem Cares addresses the experiences of an increasing number of families whose family members need protection from abuse, regardless of their financial status. Increasingly adult family members around the country need to protect ailing relatives whose lives are being controlled by someone who restricts access to and creates inhumane conditions for a vulnerable adult”.: KasemCares at www.kasemcares.com or send a check to KasemCares 8840 Wilshire Blvd Suite 111 Beverly Hills CA 90211 .
3. Support American Neuromuscular Foundation—“to improve the lives of patients with neuromuscular diseases.” (Diseases such as ALS, Myasthenia Gravis, and Muscular Dystrophy). www.neuromuscularfoundation.org firstname.lastname@example.org 507-288-0100
2621 Superior Drive NW Rochester MN 55901
- Graveside Service Wednesday, August 7, 2019
Robert Grant FORD
Jeff Nutter, Jr.
August 15, 2019
Please give the extended Ford families my kindness regards for Dr. Ford's passing. I know this sadness hurts your heart but know this. Dr. Ford's life touched so many people to count. I was a patient from 1965 until he closed his practice on Montclair Road. You know if someone stays a friend for so many years, Dr. Ford must be doing something right. Almost from the beginning he allowed me to go through his private entrance, sit and have coffee in the breakroom until he chose to see me. Funny story, he lost me once! His nurse put me in a room at the end of a hall. I went to sleep and woke up at 6:30pm. I looked up the hall, went to the check out, and all the sliding glass was locked as were the doors. Voices! I went to the end of another hall and there was Dr. Ford and another doctor talking. I eased the door open, and shock all over his face, but! Jeff, I'll see you in a moment. I, like you, will miss those precious times with a great guy. Please know we have all of you in our prayers.
August 8, 2019
My husband, Donald, and I attended the church that meets at Shades Mountain as young marrieds. We were a small church, maxing out at 250 members in the mid to late 60s. It seemed as if we all knew each other, and after every service, a lot of socializing took place. One Wednesday night (as I recall), Yvonne wasn't feeling well so Robert (or Dr. Ford, as many referred to him) brought the girls to class. As the evening wore on, we began to disburse, and as the crowd became sparse, someone noticed Amy, probably with some of the other kids (she was msybe 3 or 4). Of course dad was long gone! I don't remember her being traumatized by the abandonment, and all of the remaining adults got a big kick out of it. No cell phones, so Dad got ALL the way home to Mountain Brook (not a 5-minute drive) before he (or Yvonne) noticed! Several of us waited with Amy and had a grand old time hazing Dr. Ford when he finally returned! You gotta know that we never let him forget it! (Brilliant man, but at times oblivious to detail). Some of my most cherished memories are of our time spent with friends at Shades Mountain. Looking forward to seeing you all again "in the sweet by and by." Love, Betty
August 8, 2019
So sorry Carrie, and family of Dr. Ford on the sad news of his death.
I will remember the times we were ABRET examiners together, his comments at EEG meetings that were droll and with his wry sense of humor.
Dr. Ford truly contributed to our field and expertise in Neuro diagnostics.
With sincerest sympathy wishes,
August 8, 2019
Amy Ford Phillips, Tim Phillips and all loved ones,
My deepest sympathy during your hours of sorrow.
C. L. Harris, DTM
August 7, 2019
Love and condolences to Carrie & Amy from Linda & Harry:
We have such warm memories of our time together with the Ford family when we were at Shades Mountain. Our vacations together were full of good food, good fun and much laughter. This photograph of dear Robert is exactly how we will always remember him. We are glad to have been his friends. He loved you two very much and you were devoted, caring daughters to him. We hope your memories will provide you comfort at this sad time.
August 7, 2019
I KNOW THAT YOU WILL BE ABLE TO READ MY NOTE THROUGH THE GATES OF HEAVEN. I AM CERTAIN THAT YOU WILL ARRIVE THERE EVENTUALLY BECAUSE YOU ONCE TOLD ME THAT A MAN CARRYING THE MIDDLE NAME OF GRANT NEEDED TO BE A SAINT TO LIVE IN JACKSON MISSISSIPPI.
WE HAVE BEEN GOOD FRIENDS FOR ALMOST 60 YEARS AND I DON'T RECALL A SINGLE DISAGREEMENT. MY INSIDE QUESTION IS TO ASK IF YOU WERE ALLOWED TO BRING THE PHILLIPS TAPE RECORDER THROUGH THE GATES.
August 7, 2019
I have so many memories of Robert, both warm memories and bittersweet. My warmest memories are watching classic movies and grilling hamburgers, his most favorite food. Robert was brilliant and had a keen sense of humor. Often times I would be laughing at something he said when no one else in the room understood his dry wit. Of all his accomplishments, his greatest achievement is his two daughters, Carrie and Amy. You are both incredible people and your dad was so blessed to have you both as his caregivers and advocate during his latest difficult years. I love you both.
August 7, 2019
My sincere condolence to the family of Dr. Ford during this long and difficult struggle. I am happy to have signed the petition regarding the law to prevent ELDER ABUSE. Carrie, you have done so much to prevent this horrible treatment from happening to others. Many thanks to you for your efforts. Your reward is yet to come.
August 6, 2019
My Uncle Robert was a wonderful man. I was lucky to video chat with him, and I treasured my time with my family. He will live on in my heart and he is with my mom Tharon and Uncle Buddy. I will see them all when my time comes.
Love Lisa Ann Berg Shields.
August 6, 2019
My heart goes out to your family. My prayers are with you all. I did not know Robert Grant Ford , from what I do knowhe was a special man and wonderful father. I know this because he has two wonderful daughters may he rest in peace.