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Martha "Marty" Ford (1931 - 2014)

  • "Beautiful lady! So sorry for your loss. Jan Peters"
  • "Mary Williams Ervin - you were a great and loving sister..."

Martha "Marty" Ford


Marty Ford, daughter of Loyd and Dott (Benda) Williams, grew up on a farm near Humeston, Iowa, the youngest of six children. She played on the Mormon Trail girls basketball team, and was known for her beautiful singing voice from an early age. She started first grade when she was four, and was crowned Miss Wayne County when she was 16, after which she attended Simpson College on a music scholarship. She met her husband of 62 years, Jim Ford (who also had a beautiful voice), in the Simpson College choir, and they sang duets for the rest of their lives. Both sides of their family were musical, and family reunions always included laughter, song and good food.

Marty and Jim had three daughters, Mary Krier (Jim), Diane Ford, and Jeanne Dooley (Gary); seven grandchildren (Patrick Krier, Geni Krier, Elizabeth Shivvers (Jake Barrett), Isaac Shivvers, Dustin Dooley (Jeni), Molly Steeples (David), and Sam Dooley; and two great-grandchildren (Osiris Steeples and Liliana Dooley). The grandchildren have many fond memories of Grandma Ford's house, where she gave them singing lessons out on the front porch, supplied dress-up clothes from the 1920s on, and let them rummage through the antique treasures she collected during her garage sale adventures with Francis Bentz.

Marty belonged to many bridge clubs over the years, and regularly came home with the high score. She was a self-taught seamstress, sewing stylish dresses for her daughters over the years and later creating wonderful costumes for many Carousel Community Theater productions.

Marty was an integral part of Ford Realty, which she and Jim founded in 1969, and she spent many years at the front desk helping to run the office. She and Jim became involved in the Warren County Historical Society, and Marty wrote a Warren County history column for the local newspaper for years. She was also in charge of the annual style show at Log Cabin Days. One highlight of their involvement was the video interviews of Warren County World War II veterans at the 50th anniversary of D-Day.

Marty loved reading all of her life, especially history and biographies. She spent many hours at the library with her daughters, and later became a board member of the Indianola Library for several years. Until she became an invalid at age 69, she and Jim had fun entertaining and traveling with friends and family. After her illness, Jim was her dedicated caregiver until he died two years ago.

Marty was preceded in death by her beloved husband Jim; her parents; her brother Harold Williams; her parents in-law; and several brothers and sisters in-law. She is survived by her children and their spouses; grandchildren and great-grandchildren; sisters Mary Ervin Billings and Faye Mark; sisters in-law Kathleen (Ford) Cook and Judy (Ford) Gatrel (Ron); and many nieces, nephews and friends. Her family is especially grateful for her dedicated home healthcare aides, and most recently the wonderful caregivers at Westview Care Center in Indianola.

A celebration of her life will be held on May 31, 2014 at the Overton Funeral Home, 501 W. Ashland Ave., Indianola, Iowa, with visitation starting at 10:00 a.m. and the service starting at 11 a.m. The family recommends the Indianola Library and the Warren County Historical Society for memorials. Online condolences may be made at


Published in Des Moines Register on May 25, 2014
Funeral Home
Overton Funeral Home
501 W Ashland Avenue Indianola, IA 50125
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