July 10, 1940 ~ November 1, 2023
Richard (Ric) Eugene Ford, 83, a beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and friend passed away on November 1, 2023 to his eternal home.
He was born on July 10, 1940, in Kidder, Missouri, to J.C. and Pearlie Mae Ford. Ric was preceded in death by his parents and his brothers, Charles and Ronnie, and a son-in-law, Reed (on October 15, 2023).
Ric leaves behind a tapestry of lives enriched by his presence, countless memories etched into the hearts of his family, extended family, many friends and the community he loved so dearly.
Ric’s journey took him from the quiet beginnings in Kidder to Nampa, Idaho and Springfield, Oregon where he was raised. His love for his country was evident through his honorable service in the United States Marine Corps from 1958 to 1962, which imbued in him a lifelong sense of duty and resilience.
His quest for knowledge led him to grace the halls of Graceland College, Santa Anna College, Cal State Fullerton and UMKC, enriching his mind and spirit from 1962 until 1967, earning a Bachelor Degree.
It was this same spirit that propelled him into a career as a savvy entrepreneur, owning 3 auto parts stores, owning a lawn care business, building pontoon boats and refurbishing rental homes. Ric’s business insight was only matched by his commitment to the community, which was evident in his role on the Lee’s Summit City Council from 1977 to 1979, and his influential presence in the Missouri-Kansas Auto Parts Association where he led as President from 1984 to 1985.
Ric’s service to the community was diverse and impactful; from leading the Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce and initiating Cole Younger Days (which became Old Time Days), presiding over the Lexington and Lee’s Summit Rotary Clubs, to being the first President of the Downtown Lee’s Summit Merchant Association (and the first to add lights in the trees in downtown Lee’s Summit). His commitment earned him the prestigious Paul Harris Fellowship from Rotary International.
His generous spirit found expression through countless hours of volunteer work with the VA, Red Cross, Rotary, Forest Avenue Women’s Shelter, FBC Mission Committee and trips to places in need such as Jamaica, Mexico, New Orleans, Joplin, Greensburg, and El Dorado. His service extended to delivering One Good Meal and ushering at his beloved Fellowship Church, as well as serving individual needs of those he cared for. He truly “Lived to Bless”.
Ric’s passions were as varied as they were deeply rooted. He was a craftsman with a love for building and refurbishing houses, a historian of his own lineage through genealogy and an explorer who sought out historic sites. His hands were rarely still, often found tending to his yard and those of his neighbors and friends.
On June 6, 1992, Ric married his soulmate, Jeanne, and together they shared unconditional love and fulfilled most of their bucket list in travel and time spent with those they love. He was a patriarch to his children, Eric (April), Stacey (Reed –Deceased), Tony, Shannon (David), and Shalane (Charlie), who will carry forward his values and wisdom. His Ric (isms) and teachings will echo in the laughter of his grandchildren: Justin, Joshua, Zachary, (Kimberly), Kaitlin, Melanie, McKenna (Kohner), and Isabelle, and light the way for his great-grandchildren: Greyson, Axtyn, Adaline, and Aurora.
As we bid farewell to Ric, we are reminded of his steadfast spirit, his unwavering integrity and his generous heart as well as memories of his playful side and mischievous grin.