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Hallie E. Ford

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MONMOUTH - Hallie E. Ford, age 102, died peacefully and painlessly after a brief  illness on June 4, 2007 in her home at Heron Pointe Assisted Living Community in   Monmouth, Oregon. Hallie was born in Red Fork, Oklahoma, American Indian Territory, on March 17, 1905, to Ethel and James Brown, the oldest of five children. As her family persevered through the Great Depression, Hallie learned the value of education, graduating from high school in Beggs, Oklahoma, followed by putting herself through East Central  University in Ada, Oklahoma where she earned her bachelor’s degree and teaching certificate. After teaching briefly in Oklahoma, Hallie followed her parents to Oregon where she taught in the Lebanon area. In 1935 she married Kenneth W. Ford and moved to Roseburg where she played an active role in establishing and growing Roseburg Lumber Co., currently known as Roseburg Forest Products Co. carrying on the tradition of this pioneer forest products family. While rearing her family in Roseburg, Hallie was an active leader in business and community affairs. Her volunteer work with Umpqua Valley Arts Association, Roseburg Women’s Club, city government, community hospital and the First Methodist Church of Roseburg led to her receiving the Roseburg First Citizens Award from the Roseburg Area   Chamber of Commerce in 1967. She moved to Salem in 1972, where she lived, until 2002 when she relocated to Heron Pointe in Monmouth. During this time Hallie pursued her passions for gardening and travel, and took up golf. She took pride in the fact that she once made a hole-in-one. She joined the board of the Oregon Historical  Society, faithfully contributing her time and resources. Of her many life accomplishments Hallie Ford will best be remembered for her generous philanthropic support of education and the arts. Along with Kenneth, her husband of many years, she was one of the founders of the Ford Family Foundation, headquartered in Roseburg, Oregon. The Ford Opportunity Scholarship Program, that has changed many lives for the better is operated by the Foundation for single parents lacking financial resources for college, was her inspiration. To date 528 single-parent Oregonians have been named recipients of this visionary scholarship. While the Foundation, founded in 1957 by the Fords, confines gifts primarily to rural communities, Hallie herself was a major benefactor of many education and arts projects throughout all of Oregon and supported her high school and college alma maters in Oklahoma. Resourceful and frugal in her personal life, Hallie reserved most of her wealth to benefit others. Her reserved, deliberate and soft-spoken demeanor was a reflection of a thoughtful and compassionate life   driven by a desire to be as well informed about the world as possible. She held herself and her beloved family to high intellectual and ethical standards, and was willing to help deserving individuals and organizations that did the same. A woman of few words, but great vision, Hallie was an avid reader who believed in the transformational value of art and education. She continued to take art classes well into her retirement years. In 1996 Hallie received the Governor’s Arts Award for Arts  Patronage and Support of Arts Scholarship Programs. As a patron of the arts she endowed an arts education program for Umpqua Valley Arts Association in Roseburg and was the benefactor of The Hallie Ford Museum at Willamette University in Salem. She was proud to have served many years on the Board of Trustees at Willamette University, which honored her in 1994 with an honorary doctorate. An additional gift from Hallie to Willamette University last year will ensure the construction of Ford Hall for academic instruction to include digital art and film studies. Just before her death, acting out of a desire to see a globally recognized center for visual art and design education located in Oregon, Hallie en

Published in StatesmanJournal on June 7, 2007
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