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Reuben Ford (1926 - 2012)

Obituary
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Reuben Ford 1926 - 2012 Mr. Reuben Ford, former Fresno Postmaster and Special Assistant to the Postmaster General for the Western Region died December 31, 2012 in Bakersfield, CA. He is reunited with his wife of 62 years, Vera Ford. A Memorial Service will be held at Cain Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church, 630 California Avenue, Bakersfield, CA 93301 on Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. Reuben Ford was the youngest of 13 children born to Cornelius and Hannah Ford on March 31, 1926 in Seminole, Oklahoma. The family moved to San Diego, CA and later to Bakersfield. He attended Lincoln Elementary School, Washington Junior High, and graduated from Kern County Union High School. He was active in sports and the Driller Marching Band. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was honorably discharged with the rank of sergeant from the military at Fort Lewis, Washington. Reuben married his childhood sweetheart, Vera Cole, on February 8, 1944. Together they raised their four children Ruby Faye, Reuben Wayne, Janet and Don in Bakersfield. They were committed to family unity and the value of education. He was proud of this family and imparted a strong work ethic and sense of responsibility as well as demonstrated commitment and the knowledge that he would be there for them always-with love, support and counsel. He was a private and reserved man who embodied the philosophy of setting personal goals and self-discipline Mr. Ford began his postal service career in 1949, starting out as a mail carrier in Bakersfield and worked his way up through the U.S. Postal Service. He attended evening school at Bakersfield College in order to meet the challenges of higher level management positions. In 1968, he was promoted to Postal Service Regional Officer assigned to the Western Regional Office in San Francisco, CA. He later moved to several postal areas serving as a District Director from 1971-1976. In 1976, Mr. Ford was appointed to the position of Postmaster of Fresno, CA and Area Manager of 55 Post Offices within the San Joaquin Valley. He was recognized as a dedicated leader within government service and the communities where he lived. Mr. Ford retired from the U.S. Postal Service Department in 1990. He volunteered with agencies helping the elderly during his retirement. Reuben and Vera retired to Santa Barbara, Valle Verde Retirement Community later moving to Bakersfield, Rosewood Senior Living Community to be near family. Once an avid golfer, Mr. Ford led by example by staying active. He had a great love of baseball and was a (New York Baseball Giants) San Francisco Giants' fan. Mr. Ford enjoyed sports, loved the idea that he could out swim and run all comers. A standing family joke was Dad/Pops/Opa would never race anyone after they were close to beating him. He always claimed victory as the best-"athlete". He coached youth baseball teams and encouraged his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren's participation in sports. Mr. Ford is survived by his children: Ruby Faye Robertson, Los Angeles, CA; Rev. Reuben Wayne Ford and his wife Joyce, Camarillo, CA; Dr. Janet Ford Shell, Bakersfield, CA; Don Gene Ford and his wife Dr. Faye, Scottsdale, AZ; his grandchildren: Michael "Clayton" Shell (Leticia) Bakersfield, CA.; Regina Henderson (Brian), Bakersfield, CA : Dawn Iparraguirre (John), San Francisco, CA; Reuben "Gabriel" Ford, New York, NY; Reena Cherry (Byron), Houston, TX; and great-grandchildren: Myles, Mason, and Jordan Shell, Breanne and Kelsey Henderson and Savannah Bonner, Mia and Christian Iparraguirre, Ava and Maxwell Cherry and a special childhood friend Saleem Omar (Russell Grimes). Uncle Jessie Shaw (Ola Mae) Sapulpa, Oklahoma; sister-in-law Delores Hytch, Princes Ann, Maryland; brother-in-law Johnnie Cole, Elizabeth, New Jersey and a host of nephews, nieces and other relatives, good friends; Second Street neighborhood families and Rosewood Health Center friends. Mr. Ford was preceded in death by his wife Vera Ford; parents Peter and Hannah Ford; mother and father-in- law Ben and Rosie Fields; siblings: Ruby Earl, Ace Ford Sr., Ethel Simmons, James Ford, Earl Ford, William (Bill)Ford, LaVonne (Hazel) Channell, Cornelius (Connie) Ford Jr. , Charles Ford and son-in-law Charles Robertson. Our deepest gratitude to Dr. James Saiki, Dr. Brijesh Bhambi, Dr. Kai Wong, Dr. Antonia Chambers and Dr. Parvez Memon; thank you Roy Keys of Keys Barber Shop, Rosewood Health Center staff with special appreciation to Delia, Irene, Betty, Jan and Alex for their devoted care. Thanks also to the staff of Hoffmann Hospice who cared for our father. In lieu of flowers, donations in Reuben's name may be made to , Alzheimer's and Dementias Research Center, 225 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL. 60601, alz.org or Bakersfield Seniors Center Foundation, 530 4th St. Bakersfield, CA 93304. www.bakersfield.com/obits

This obituary was originally published in the Bakersfield Californian.
Published online on Jan. 18, 2013 courtesy of Bakersfield Californian.
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