Lewis H. Ford, 63, of Oxford, passed away unexpectedly on July 18, 2015 at Community Hospital, Syracuse. He was born on December 6, 1951 in Norwich, a son of the late Lewis and Norma (Hayden) Ford. On August 14, 1976 he married Jane Lewis, who survives.
Besides his wife, Jane, he is survived by his sons, John Lewis Ford of Manhattan and Nathanial Owen Ford and Nathanial's fiancé, Jesi Unger, of Laurens; his sister and brother in law, Nancy and Ricardo Mermet of East Weymouth, MA; his aunt, Mariba Ford of McDonough; his sisters and brother in law, Ann Hodge and John Evan Lewis of Oxford and Mary Beth Lewis of Seattle, WA. Several nieces, nephews and cousins also survive. Lew loved and cared deeply for his family and did much to make them happy. He was abundantly proud of his children and their many accomplishments and his happiest days were spent with them. He had a special fondness for his nieces and nephews, especially the "grands".
Lew was a 1970 graduate of Oxford Academy and Central School. He attended Purdue University and was graduated from Utica College of Syracuse University in 1975, where he was a proud member of Alpha Phi Omega, a service Fraternity. Lew truly believed that one should share one's time and talent with others. He began his volunteer work in audio-visual needs as a high school student. He organized and took part in many service projects as a college student and in later years, he operated the sound system at Oxford Academy for school and community plays as well as school concerts. He also ran the time clock for Oxford Academy football and basketball games. Lew served on the Oxford Academy School Board, several years
as the President of the School Board, and was a member of the Chenango County School Boards Association. Lew had been a member of the McDonough Fire Department, served as a member of the McDonough Board of Fire Commissioners, and was instrumental with the planning and construction of the present Fire Station in McDonough. He was a past lay reader at Calvary Episcopal Church in McDonough and St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Oxford. Lew was a very talented musician and played trombone as a student at Oxford Academy, at Purdue University and Utica College, and throughout the rest of his life. He was a faithful member of the Oxford Community Band and occasionally played with the Smyrna and Norwich Community Bands. He was a member of the Mid York Shining Brass Band and was a founding member of the Mid-York Concert Band. He also sang with the Sherburne Community Chorus. Lew was a former member of the Oxford Lions Club, serving as secretary/treasurer for several years, and assisted with the New York State Lions Youth Band. He enjoyed concerts at Tanglewood and Bethel Woods, as well as the last concert he would attend at the Syracuse Jazz Festival.
Lew was also a member of the Association for Educational Safety and Health Professionals.
Lew was very happy to join the family business, Ford Homes, after he graduated from college. In subsequent years he was employed with Grossmans and the Chenango County Code Enforcement Office. Most recently, he worked in the Health and Safety Office at DCMO BOCES. He truly enjoyed assisting the component school districts with various building and safety needs and forged many friendships with school administrators and staff members. He was instrumental in making the Yellow Ribbon Program, a suicide prevention program, available to schools affiliated with DCMO BOCES and his efforts with the school districts were noted when he received the Daniel Marshman Award. Additionally, he organized the end of school year golf outings that were enjoyed by many.
Lew was frequently called upon to share his expertise with the New York State Building and Fire Code as well as OSHA regulations. He enjoyed teaching and sharing his vast knowledge of these and related topics.
In quiet moments at home, Lew enjoyed reading and always had a book by his side. He also enjoyed putting together jig saw puzzles. He was a life-long fan of Yankee baseball and shared this love with his children. Some of his happiest, and most treasured, days were being with his family on the "great baseball expedition" which was his 60th birthday present. He also was a fan of Syracuse University athletics, attending many football and basketball games since 1980. Trips to the Boston area to visit his the Mermet-Hule family were special to Lew and he always enjoyed dinner at Tango!
Funeral services will be held on Thursday, July 23, 2015 at 11:00 AM in St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Main St., Oxford with Rev. David Hanselman officiating. Burial will follow in Union Cemetery, McDonough.
Friends may call at the Behe Funeral Home, 21 Main St., Oxford on Wednesday, July 22, 2015 from 2-4 and 6-8 PM. Memorial contributions may be made to Shriners' Hospital for Children, 516 Carew St., Springfield, MA, or Oxford Academy and Central School Scholarship Fund, PO Box 192, Oxford, NY, or St. Paul's Episcopal Church, PO Box 72, Oxford, NY. Friends and family may share their memories and condolences by visiting www.behefuneralhome.com