John Othor Ford, 94, of Lewisburg, WV, died Tuesday, February 3, 2015, at home.
John was born June 10, 1920, in Fayette County, WV, the son of Othor and Mayme Goddard Ford.
The family moved to Lewisburg in 1930. John graduated from Lewisburg High School in 1937 and from Marshall College (now university) in 1941. He was teaching at Crichton High School when the United States entered World War II, and he was drafted into the Army in 1942. After completing Officer’s Candidate School, he was commissioned in the Corps of Engineers and served in North Africa, Sicily, and Italy, finishing the war as a captain in the 19th Combat Engineers. He was awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart.
He married Margaret Johnston on October 10, 1945, to whom he was married until her death on July 9, 2010.
John completed his master’s degree at West Virginia University in 1947 and was principal at Williamsburg High School when he was recalled to active duty in the Army in 1948. He served in the Army until 1973 at various assignments, including the Army General Staff, the Command and General Staff College, the School of the Americas, where he was the commandant, brigade level command with the 7th Infantry Division in Korea, and as a senior Army advisor at the Naval War College.
John retired in 1973 as a colonel, and he and Margaret returned to Lewisburg. After retirement, John was very active in community activities, including serving as city zoning officer and municipal judge for the city of Lewisburg, Shanghai Parade chairman, with the Greenbrier Historical Society, with the Buckskin Council of the Boy Scouts, and as a clerk of the session of the Old Stone Presbyterian Church in Lewisburg. He was a recipient of the Silver Beaver Award for his work with the Boy Scouts.
As zoning officer, he was responsible for annexation of unincorporated areas into the city of Lewisburg, which more than doubled the size of the city. He headed the celebration of Lewisburg’s bicentennial in 1981. He was responsible for acquiring and restoring the Conestoga wagon, which is displayed at North House Museum, for the acquisition and dedication of Dick Pointer’s gun, for the Dick Pointer monument, for creating various driving and walking tours of the area, for the first Battle of Lewisburg reenactment, and for many of the amenities in Lewisburg now taken for granted. He was the most avid of gardeners.
John was preceded in death by his wife, parents, and four siblings.
He is survived by his sons, Larry (Karen) of South Charleston, WV, and Robert (Sabine) of Greensboro, NC; and three grandchildren, Elizabeth of Glasgow, Scotland, Alexander of Washington, D.C., and Jennifer of Raleigh, NC.
There will be no services.
In lieu of flowers, donations of sympathy may be made to the Family Refuge Center, 117 East Washington Street #7, Lewisburg, WV 24901.
Online condolences may be made by visiting www.WallaceandWallaceFH.com.
Wallace & Wallace Funeral Home in Lewisburg is in charge of arrangements.
Obituary originally published in the February 4, 2015, edition of the West Virginia Daily News.