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Richard E. Ford
(04-26-1934 - 05-18-2019)

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 Richard Elbert Ford was born on April 26, 1934 to William E. and Sylvia L Ford in the small town of Creal Springs, Illinois, located close to the edge of the Shawnee National Forest. The experiences and adventures while growing up in that part of the country with his many friends provided memories that he treasured all of his life and set his core values forever. He died at home on May 18, 2019 after a prolonged illness.
After attending Southern Illinois University, Mr. Ford came to Elgin, Illinois where he continued his education and began a career at the Elgin Mental Health Center. He worked there for many years as an administrator until his retirement.
Mr. Ford’s first marriage resulted in the birth of his four beloved children. In 1969 he married Jennifer Fraley. June 28 would have been their 50th anniversary. Richard was very proud of his family and was a loving, devoted, and caring husband, father, and grandfather. He was always there to help them when the need arose, often very privately with no one else knowing of his generosity..
Richard loved the frequent family get-togethers that usually featured food prepared by his family of excellent cooks who possessed a talent that resulted in never ending culinary delights. Those were good times that will surely continue.
Richard enjoyed travelling mostly road trips, but flying if he had to. His many adventures with family members to interesting destinations through the country resulted in everlasting memories that are talked and laughed about with friends and family on many occasions. His last long road trip was a 5400 mile trek that included Las Vegas, southern California, favorite city Jackson Hole, and the awesome Yellowstone National Park. He had resisted his entire life, but this last trip included a visit to Wall Drug.
Richard was a fan of the gaming culture with its never ending ups and downs and search for perfection. He particularly enjoyed his many trips to Las Vegas and his participation in events at the World Series of Poker. Often accompanied by family, they enjoyed the entertainment, food, and general overall ambiance of the Las Vegas scene. Being a night person in a family of day people, some of these trips were exhausting to others but so much fun for all.
Richard was a well-known and respected player on the local scene and continued to participate until the last week of his life. He enjoyed the good times and endured the innumerable bad times with class and dignity.
Richard had a winning personality and sense of humor and was always considered one of the “good guys” during his lifetime. Long before his death he was known as the late Mr. Ford. His clock did not match the rest of the world’s time. Independence was the defining feature of his life, hence renewing his driver’s license the month before he died at age 85.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by daughters Pamela Sue (James) Tanner, Patricia Ann (Larry) Thiede, sons Michael Richard (Laura) and Robert Alan (Debra), grandchildren Courtney Patricia Tanner, Taylor Sage Ford, and Sarah Ann Ford; brother Jerry (Carolyn) Ford, nephew Matthew Ford, Niece Julie (Bert) Bruyn, grandnephews Chase and Noah Bruyn.
Richard was preceded in death by his parents and grandson David Tanner who passed away on Christmas Eve at the early age of 28 from complications of cystic fibrosis.
Memorial services will be held on Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 7PM at Laird Funeral Home, Elgin, with Michael Murschel officiating. Visitation will be from 4-7PM. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation or Special Olympics. Arrangements by Laird Funeral Home. 847-741-8800 or www.lairdfamilyfuneralservices.com


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