Laurie Stone: PNT Correpondent
Name: Barbara Ellen Ford
Born: Feb. 28, 1937
Died: Sept. 23, 2005
Preceded in death by: Her parents, and her husband who died July 15, 1974.
Survived by: Two sons, Matthew Ford (and wife, Mary) of Dallas and Richard Ford of Terrell, Texas; a daughter Alexandra “Sandy” Floyd (Thane) of Portales; and five grandchildren, Jared, Jody Floyd, Jennifer, Charis and Aaron Ford.
Barbara Ford was the type of person who gave grace to other people by allowing them to be themselves. According to family and friends, she was gifted with wisdom and insight that made whatever she involved herself with flourish whether it was gardening, influencing people through leadership or nurturing friends and family through generosity and compassion.
Barbara Ellen Ford died on Sept. 23, 2005, at the age of 68. She had been suffering from diabetes for a number of years and lost a leg due to the disease. According to family members, she never recovered from the amputation which led to greater complications affecting the outcome of her health.
Ford was an acclaimed winner when it came to volunteering in her community. She served in school activities for her children, in Cub Scouts, during Sunday school, for civic groups, in nursing homes, she sewed banners for her church, led fund raisers and baked cookies.
According to Sandy Floyd, Barbara Ford’s daughter, her mother never denied herself any pleasures and when it came to volunteering, she took delight in it.
“She enjoyed life and lived it on her own terms,” said Floyd.
“She was a wonderful mother and person that accepted her children regardless of their differences. And for her children, she gave us every opportunity to try everything we wanted, but she never forced us to be anything that we weren’t,” she said. “I can defiantly say that I was blessed to have been in her life.”
According to family and friends, Ford had many interests that made her a great conversationalist. She could make an arts and crafts project out of basically anything, she enjoyed reading mystery and historical novels, and she traveled extensively the last 20 years of her life. In her traveling days, she visited every state in the U. S. except for Hawaii and North Carolina. Her endeavors led her to visit 11 countries outside the U. S.
Ford cared for the friends in her life as if they were the tender flowers in her own garden. She always kept up with them, according to Floyd. She visited Alaska with a pen pal, from Liverpool, England, who she had remained in contact with from the youthful age of 9.
Barbara Ford was born Feb. 28, 1937, in New York, N.Y., to Julia and Harry MacNeil.
She grew up in Long Island, N.Y., Prescott, Ariz., and Albuquerque. She graduated from Highland High School in Albuquerque. She attended Texas Woman’s University and the University of New Mexico, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education. She married Richard Merton Ford in Albuquerque on Sept. 5, 1958. They had three children together and were married 17 years before his death. She worked as a school teacher for one year in Albuquerque. In 1962, they moved to Los Alamos. She was the activities director of the Los Alamos Church of Christ’s Day-Out Program. She moved to Portales in 1996 and worked as an activities aide for what is now Heartland Continuing Care Center. She was a member of the Central Christian Church of Portales and the Beta Sigma Phi. She was honored as Outstanding Beta Sigma Phi in 1998-99.
Roberta Scott, a close friend of Ford’s, said that Ford was the type of person that you wanted to latch onto because of her ability to make others feel welcomed and accepted.
“I liked her right off the bat,” Scott said. “We worked together on many projects for Beta Sigma Phi, and she always made you feel like you weren’t imposing on her time. She was a kind person in general, but she was also someone that you could talk to and she would really listen.”
Ford left no stone unturned when it came to letting others be themselves in the midst of her own adventure through life.
According to family members, Ford’s most beautiful quality was in the friendships that she made with people. Her happiness overflowed into the lives of others.