John Ford

FORD JR., JOHN C. (Cryptanalyst, Golfer, Bird watcher) June 23, 1918 March 6, 2013 He was a resident of Hillsmere Shores in Annapolis since 1957. He passed away peacefully of natural causes at home with his family in Arnold, Md. Born in Federal Hill in Baltimore, he was raised in Catonsville and attended Catonsville High School where he played lacrosse and track. He attended Baltimore Business School and enlisted in the Navy in 1942 at the start of WWII. He was a cryptanalyst stationed in Washington DC and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii where he met his wife of 59 years, Helen, a fellow cryptanalyst. As a Navy Cryptanalyst, he was involved in the decipher of Japanese JN25 Naval codes and was involved in the mission to shoot down the plane of Japanese Admiral Yamamoto who was the architect of the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941. He was discharged from the Navy in 1945 and married Helen in 1946. After the war, he worked for the National Security Agency as a cryptanalyst until his retirement in 1973. He was a lifelong sports enthusiast and he enjoyed following the Baltimore Colts, the Baltimore Orioles, the Baltimore Ravens and professional golf. He watched the Ravens win the Super Bowl in February and enjoyed watching the game two additional times on TV. His lifelong passion was the game of golf which he played all around the world. A near scratch golfer, he won many tournaments in Hawaii, England, California and Maryland. He was club champion at the Annapolis Golf club in eight of his forty eight years as a member of the club. He won the Maryland Seniors tournament numerous times and qualified for the National Senior Olympics on four occasions. He participated in three of those tournaments and the highlight of his golf career was winning the silver medal at the age of 92 in the 90 and above age group in 2010 in Palo Alto, California. He was a member of the Annapolis Golf Club, the Maryland and Anne Arundel Ornithological Societies, the Annapolis Elks and was a patron of the Annapolis Symphony. As avid bird watchers, he and his wife, Helen, led many field trips that took them all over the globe including Alaska, South America, Africa and Europe. Helen, passed away in 2005. He is survived by his six children. Chris Ford (Rhonda) of Annapolis, Jeff Ford (Joy Epstein) of Arnold, Mary Laird (Bruce) of Towson, Md., Anne Ford of Los Angeles, John Ford III (Ann) of Boca Raton, Florida and Julie Ford (Fuzzbee Morse) of Los Angeles. Also surviving are seven grandchildren. He had a sister, Vivian, and a brother, George Cecil of Baltimore who are both deceased. A memorial Celebration will be held on Monday, March 11 at the John Taylor Funeral Home, 147 Duke of Gloucester Street, Annapolis Maryland from 5-8 PM. Inurnment will be at the Crownsville Veterans Cemetery at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Hospice of the Chesapeake. Online condolences may be left for the family at

Funeral Home

John M. Taylor Funeral Home
147 DUKE OF GLOUCESTER ST Annapolis, MD 21401
(410) 263-4422

Published in The Capital on Mar. 8, 2013