OBITUARY: William R. “Woody” Ford, 99

TEWKSBURY, MA — William R. “Woody” Ford, age 99, of Tewksbury MA passed away peacefully on June 6, 2018.

He was the beloved husband of the late Leah A (Bibeau) Ford, and a well known member of the Tewksbury community since 1977. A devout communicant at Saint William’s Church, and a previous coach, manager, and umpire in Tewksbury’s Little League Baseball Program. Many will agree to meet and speak with Woody was an enlightening experience. He had a sparkle in his eye, a constant grin, and was always ready with a song. Within a few minutes of meeting Woody one became a friend for life of this wonderful man.

Woody began his life journey in Lynn in October 1918, one of five children of the late Bernard and Mary (Winn) Ford, both Irish immigrants to the U.S. He was educated in St. Patrick’s Parochial Elementary School and went on to graduate from Lynn Classical High School. Woody enlisted into the US Army at the outbreak of WWII with the Medical Corps 107th Evacuation Hospital Division. His stories of the perils of driving ambulances in combat conditions in France were spellbinding. He went on to earn five Battle Stars for his participation at the Normandy landings through the Battle of the Bulge. He maintained his friendships forged during WWII with active memberships in the 107th Evacuation Hospital Veteran Association. Additionally, he traveled vastly across the country to attend WWII conventions. Locally, Woody was frequently featured by the press in photos, and news stories around Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Veteran’s Day events.

Post WWII, Woody had a 43 year long career with the Purchasing Division of General Electric, first in Lynn, followed by Wilmington. He continued his work in forging friendships and eventually became a Toastmaster of the GE Retiree’s Luncheon Club. Career aside, Woody and wife Leah’s proudest accomplishment was opening their hearts and home and becoming foster parents to 43 children over the years.

Woody was the beloved father of Robert F. “Chip” Ford of Marblehead, Diane M. Ford and partner Katharine Gilpin of Middleboro, John P. Ford and his wife Karen Ford of Loudon, NH, David R. “Bob” Ford of Tewksbury, and daughter-in-law Lisa M. Ford of Woburn. He was the devoted grandfather of Jill (Ford) Logan and husband Richard, Kelly K. Ford, Thomas O. Ford, Kyle P.W. Ford, Megan L. Ford, and the late Sean Casey. The proud great grandfather of Leah and Connor Logan. Predeceased by his siblings Bernard Ford, John Ford, Edward Ford, and Catherine (Ford) Babineau.

Visiting hours Sunday, June 10, from 4:00 until 7:00 p.m. in the Tewksbury Funeral Home, corner of 1 Dewey and 975 Main Street (Rte. 38) Tewksbury Center, Phone (800 in MA or 978) 851-2950. His funeral will begin Monday at 10:30 a.m. from the funeral home, followed by a Funeral Mass at 11:30 a.m. in St. William’s Church, 1351 Main St (Rte. 38) Tewksbury. Burial with Army Honors will follow in Tewksbury Cemetery.

William Ford
William Ford


(NOTE: The above obituary is from Tewksbury Funeral Home.)

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