Shelby County Commissioner James Ford _ an ophthalmologist and pastor (of the Fellowship Church of God in Christ) who was often referred to by his commission mates as “Dr. Ford” -- died early Tuesday morning at Methodist Healthcare-South, from the effects of cancer. He was 52. Although it had been clear for some time that Commissioner Ford, a former member of the Memphis city council and the holder of a law degree, was seriously ill-- he was confined to a wheelchair for the last several years-- he was still able to perform his duties as a commissioner vigorously. This was most notable during the last year when he was chairman of the commission and oversaw the resolution of several tough issues-- including prolonged and stormy debates over school funding and the use of public money to construct a new arena for the transplanted Vancouver Grizzlies of the NBA. Even when he was relatively healthy, Commissioner Ford was mild of manner and polite, even courtly, to an extreme. Conversely, even when he was in the throes of his illness, he was capable of quite firm, robust responses to opponents or, as was the case in one or two of the past year’s stormier meetings, to audience members who ventured to heckle commissioners. He did not suffer fools gladly. “He had as much resolve as anyone I ever knew, even in his illness, and he had great academic achievements,” observed his nephew, U.S. Representative Harold Ford Jr., who pointed out that Commissioner Ford had attended more or less concurrently Columbia University Medical School, Union Theological Seminary, and New York University School of Law. He was a worthy representative of the extended Ford family which has produced so many notable politicians _ including, at present, a congressman, a city councilman, and a state senator. Early speculation took it for granted that a member of the family _ possibly brother Joe Ford, who left his council seat to run for city mayor in 1999, or nephew Jake Ford _ would be named by the commission to succeed him. Funeral arrangements, as announced by the family funeral home, N.J. Ford and Sons, are as follows: Dr. Ford will lie in state at the funeral home on Friday and Saturday, and the funeral will be at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at Temple Deliverance Church of God in Christ at 369 Patterson Avenue. The family specifies that, in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Cancer Society or to the N.J. and Vera Ford Endowment Fuind at LeMoyne-Owen College


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment



Politics Beat Blog

C-SPAN's Coming!

Politics Beat Blog

Guns to Blast and the Stars and Bars to Fly Again in Bartlett

Fly On The Wall Blog

Bob Corker Has Tiny Feet And It's Funny When He Stamps Them

Music Blog

Rest in Peace Sports Junction


Friends of the Library Fall Book Sale

Hungry Memphis

Crosstown Arts to Open Cafe

Tiger Blue

AAC Picks: Week 8

Fly On The Wall Blog

George Perez: Cool Things About Memphis Comic Expo Part II

News Blog

The Buccaneer Has Risen From the Dead (Again)


More by Jackson Baker

  • C-SPAN's Coming!

    Leave your selfie sticks at home. You won't need 'em. The longstanding chronicler of live-as-they-happen events will be on the scene at CBU and Arkansas State next week.
    • Oct 20, 2016
  • Guns to Blast and the Stars and Bars to Fly Again in Bartlett

    The "Battle of Bartlett' (sure, you remember that one!) will be commemorated in a reenactment next month, in conjunction with the 150th anniversary of Bartlett's chartering -- for the record, two years after the battle.
    • Oct 20, 2016
  • Corker Says It's "Imperative" that Trump Agree to Accept Election Results

    In statement that comes close to being an ultimatum, Tennessee Senator, previously rumored as Trump choice for Secretary of State, demands that candidate reverse his debate position.
    • Oct 20, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

© 1996-2016

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation