William Patrick Ford

Obituary
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FORD--William Patrick, (Bill) beloved husband of Mary Anne, devoted father of Miriam, Bill, Ruth, Elizabeth, Rebecca and John and adored grandfather of Samuel, Thomas and Carolina Marth, Billy, Maggie and Mary Ita Ford, Anna and Alex Esteverena, son of the late William Patrick Ford and Mildred O'Beirne Ford, brother of Irene Coriaty and of the late Ita Ford, Maryknoll missionary. He died June 1 in the arms of his family after a courageous 17 month battle with endstage esophageal cancer. Born on April 28, 1936, he was a graduate of Brooklyn Prep, Fordham University (B.A. 1960) and St. John's University (LLB 1966). Bill married Mary Anne Heyman on February 4, 1961, whose decision to marry him, he later said, made him "the luckiest man alive". He served in the US Army from 1957-1958, and again in 1961. He was a clerk to Federal Court Judge Richard Levet, a founder and senior partner of Ford Marrin Esposito Witmeyer and Gleser, recipient of honorary doctorates from Fordham University, St. John's University, the College of St. Elizabeth and Niagara University and claimed his greatest successes as the births of his six children and eight grandchildren. Bill served as an Essex County Democratic Committeeman. An active member of St. Casssian Church in Upper Montclair, NJ, he was a founding trustee of the North Jersey Inter-Religious Task Force on Central America and a member of the Commission on Justice and Peace for the Archdiocese of Newark. After the December 2, 1980 murder in El Salvador of his sister Ita and her companions, Bill tenaciously sought to bring those directly responsible for the deaths of his sister and her three religious companions to justice. For over 22 years, Bill worked unceasingly to hold those in command positions responsible for the death of his sister and so many Slavadoran victims. His efforts laid the groundwork for the eventual successful prosecution of two Salvadoran generals. His personal courage, integrity and undying love of family are the hallmarks of a life well lived. He will be forever remembered by the quiet kindnesses he did for so many. May his soul rest in peace. Visitation Tuesday, June 3 from 2-4 and 7-9pm at the Hugh Moriarty Funeral Home, 76 Park Street, Montclair, NJ. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Wednesday, June 4 at 10:30am at St. Cassian Church, 187 Bellevue Avenue, Upper Montclair, NJ. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Maryknoll Sisters, Box 39, Maryknoll, NY 10545 or Cristo Rey NY High School, 112 East 106 Street, NY, NY 10029.
Published in The New York Times on June 2, 2008
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