Paraphrasing a portion of the third Chapter of Ecclesiastes pinpoints the life of Charles Franklin Ford, fondly known by family and friends as “Stick” and “Chuck.”
A Time to be Born:
Charles was born on January 28, 1936, in Memphis, Tennessee, the second child. and second son of Mr. Charles Ford, Sr., and Mrs. Linnia M. Ford. As a very young child, his family moved first to Chicago then to Gary, Indiana, where he grew up and earned his early education in the public schools of Gary.
A Time to Plant:
This was the time for Charles to begin preparing for his pursuit of a higher education and his participation in the sport of basketball. As a precursor, during his senior year in high school, he was a member of Gary's Theodore Roosevelt Panthers, the runner-up team in the 1955 Indiana state high school basketball championship. This marked the first time in Indiana history that two African-American teams competed for the state championship. The opposing team was Indianapolis' Crispus Attucks Tigers, on which Oscar Robertson was a team member.
Following his graduation from Theodore Roosevelt High School, Charles was recruited by Coach Frank "Mooney" Lewis to attend Alabama A&M University (formerly Alabama A&M College) on a basketball scholarship. He matriculated for two years at A&M before he enlisted in the U. S. Marines to serve his country. He returned to the University following his stint in the Marines and graduated in August 1965 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education. He later returned to the University to earn the Master of Science Degree and the AA Certificate in Supervision and Administration.
A Time to Hug:
On August 28, 1965, Charles married his sweetheart, the former. Ms. Patricia Dumas. To this glorious union a lovely daughter, Ms. Kimberly Adina, was born and became baby sister to his adorable daughter, Mrs. Vanness Janeice Ford Taylor.
A Time to Harvest:
Charles began his 30 year tenure as an educator as a math and physical education teacher at Councill High School. Later he integrated the Huntsville City School System as a math teacher and coach of basketball and baseball at Huntsville Junior High School (currently Huntsville Middle School). Soon after, he became Assistant Principal at Huntsville Middle School. He later moved to Stone Middle School as principal then to Davis Hills Middle School as principal where he remained until his retirement in 1993. He was visible in the community through his participation in several organizations, including Kappa Alpha Psi, Fraternity, Inc. and the I.B.P.O. of the Elks of the World. Among his many recognitions were his induction into the Alabama A&M University Athletic Hall of Fame and his receipt of a certificate for 50 years of membership in Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
Charles was devoted to Christ and a faithful member of Church Street Cumberland Presbyterian Church in America.
A Time to Die:
Charles departed this life on Sunday, January 27, 2008, one day prior to his 72nd birthday. He leaves to cherish his memory a devoted wife, Mrs. Patricia Dumas Ford; two adoring daughters: Ms. Kimberly Adina Ford of Huntsville, Alabama and Mrs. Vanness Ford Taylor of Orlando, Florida; a granddaughter, Ms. Ashley Taylor of Atlanta, Georgia; two sisters: Mrs. Shirley (Charles) Dowdell and Ms. Gloria Jean Ford of Michigan City, Indianapolis; a sister-in-law, Ms. J. Dumas of Huntsville, Alabama and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Funeral services for Mr. Charles F. Ford will be held Friday, February 1, 2008 at 11:00 a.m. from Madkins Chapel Cumberland Presbyterian Church in America with Pastor Mitchell Walker officiating. Interment will be in Valhalla Memory Gardens. Mr. Ford will lie in state in the church one hour prior to funeral time.
Visitation will be Thursday, January 31, 2008 at 6:00 p.m. from Nelms Memorial Funeral Home Chapel.