Dad was born in San Francisco, California, to May(Mills) and Thomas Patrick Ford. He spent his early childhood there with his parents and older siblings Marge and Tom. Dad’s father passed away when he was only 13 years old and he and his mother then moved to Oakland, California. Dad proudly attended Visitacion Valley Elementary School and Castlemont High School, where he was an exceptional athlete, excelling in baseball and football. After graduating a semester early from high school, and having just turned 18, Dad signed up for the United States Marine Corps. He went to bootcamp in San Diego in 1951 and was deployed to Korea where he proudly fought in the war for a year. Upon discharge from the Marines, he attended College of the Sequoias in Coure d’ Alene Idaho on baseball and football scholarships. His love of baseball, took him to Canada in 1953 where he played in the Western Canada Baseball League in Moose Jaw, Lloydminster and finally with the North Battleford Beavers from 1955-1959. Dad went to the Global World Series representing Canada in 1955 and 1956, the latter poeticly in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. “Johnny” as Dad was known in the baseball world, was inducted into the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003.
Although Dad loved baseball, his greatest love was Mom. They met through Mom’s friend, whose family in Moose Jaw had been a host family for this "attractive young American ball player". The rest was history. Mom and Dad married on August 23, 1956 and moved back to Oakland for a year, returning for the birth of Kelley, followed by Kathy, Shannon and Patrick. Dad continued to play ball over the years and had a long career in the marine industry. He also taught Phys. Ed and Health at St. Thomas College in North Battleford, where he coached many Provincial winning teams in badminton and basketball. The family moved to Swift Current in 1970 while Dad worked as Recreation Director and played ball with Swift Current in the Southern Saskatchewan Baseball League. They moved back to North Battleford in 1974 and then to Saskatoon in 1983 where they eventually retired.
Dad always said the most important things in his life were Faith, Family and Friends. He loved their parish, St. Paul’s Co-Cathedral, and was a practicing Catholic, who had a strong presence in the parish community. Mom and Dad spent many days a week at Mass and Adoration. Dad loved his family and was very proud of his kids, grandkids and great-grandkids. He loved watching his grandchildren’s sports and activities both in person and online. He enjoyed the many friends he and Mom had made, including neighbours and the community as a whole. Dad loved people!
Dad’s last week was a reflection of what mattered most to him. He was a greeter at Mass on the Sunday before he passed, golfed Monday in his men’s league with his two best buddies Bernie and Len, had family dinner Wednesday and then enjoyed two beautiful days with Mom, which she will cherish, while driving to Wisconsin to spend Father’s Day with Pat and his family. They arrived Friday, had a lovely family dinner and visit around the kitchen table for hours, ”Ford “ style, and then Dad passed away peacefully in his sleep during the night.
Dad was predeceased by his parents May and Thomas Ford, sister Marge and brother Tom, his great-grandson Will and his grandson Joshua.
He leaves his wife of 66 years, Beverley, daughters Kelley (Alain) Tousignant, Kathy (Randy) Carson, Shannon (Dave) Dutchak, son Patrick (Cammi) Ford,13 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren.
Tentative: Please confirm with Saskatoon Funeral Home 306-244-5577
Prayers: 7 pm, Tuesday, June 27
Funeral Mass: 9:30 am, Wednesday June 28
At: St. Paul’s Co-Cathedral Saskatoon
Celebrated by the Very Rev. Fr. Stefano Penna (Close Family Friend)
Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to: St. Paul’s Co-Cathedral Renovation Project - This was very dear to Dad’s heart!
Arrangements: Saskatoon Funeral Home and Hillcrest Cemetery
338 - 4th Avenue North Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7K 2L7
We remain steadfastly committed to compassion, dignity, integrity and professional excellence.
Centrally located downtown at 4th Avenue and 25th Street Saskatoon Funeral Home can assist with a full range of services including pre-planning, traditional and non-traditional services for all faiths and philosophies, memorial services and complete assistance for unplanned circumstances such as a death occurring in a foreign country.
Looking for something you can't find? We make it easy to get the answers you need. Please feel free to contact our professional staff for any questions or to schedule an appointment with a Funeral Director at any time.