Charles Theodore Ford
Charlie Ford lived life to the fullest, but on May 24, 2020 this earth lost a beautiful soul. He was born to Artie and Ruby Ford in Cave City, Arkansas on October 25, 1934. His life was full, and even at 85 years old, his tireless spirit never stopped chasing adventures in biking, sailing, tennis, and dancing, and he never lost his love of a good business deal. But his greatest love was Jean, his bride of 65 years – his favorite cook, dance partner, traveling companion and love of his life.
Whether at the cabin in Pequot Lakes, Minnesota, or on the Gulf in Bradenton, Florida, Charlie’s door was open to anyone who was up for a good conversation, a cup of coffee, a piece of pie, and a friendly game of backgammon or cards. He couldn’t meet up with anyone – best friend, acquaintance, or total stranger – without sharing a smile, a cheerful word, and probably a 20 minute conversation. Charlie personified Christian values – generosity, honesty, thoughtfulness, kindness, and service to others. A true family man, Charlie spoke continuously and with pride about his children; Ted (Tami), Mike (Barb), Bonnie (Brad), Pamela (John) and Tim (Susie); his grandchildren; Amanda, Marci, Mikayla, Noah, Blake, Hannah, Brady, Randi, Calvin, Teddy, Chloe and Abby; and his great grandchildren; Jack, Henry and Lucy, and their father, Ben Christensen. Charlie was preceded in death by his parents, Artie and Ruby Ford, and his two brothers, William Ford and John Ford. His sister, Jeannette Smith resides in South Carolina with her husband, Doug.
Charlie proudly served his country as an Army M.P. during the Korean War, stationed in the Panama Canal zone. He was employed by Kehne Electric Company as Vice President and Electrical Estimator for over 34 years. He was also a successful business investor until the end. He was cherished as a business mentor to many, including Ed Conley (Sara), Real Estate Investor, also thought of as a dear friend and a fourth son to Charlie and Jean.
On Saturday, May 23, 2020, Charlie sprinted into eternity on his road bike on his last mile of thousands logged. We stand here at his finish line, tears in our eyes, so proud, and hoping we can do it just like he did. Perhaps author Hunter S. Thompson was thinking of Charlie Ford when he penned these lines, read by his daughter at the first of many memorial celebrations: “Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, ‘Wow, what a ride!’”
Life was better with Charlie around, and we miss him greatly already. We love you Charlie, Dad, Grandpa, Papa, Friend!