LCDR Gerald R. Ford (Jerry), U.S. Navy (ret.)

LCDR Gerald R. Ford (Jerry), U. S Navy (ret.), age 90 died Thursday, November 4, 2021, just 5 days short of his 91st birthday in New Braunfels, TX.  He was born November 9, 1930, in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was preceded in death by his parents, John Oakley Ford and Winnie Leota Gibson Ford, wife, Judith Anne Ferrell and his sister, Lucille.  He is survived by his wife, Lorita Lawrence Kimper Ford, 15 children, 39 grandchildren and 46 great grandchildren.

He was known as “Jerry” to his friends, “Doc” to those he served with in the Military and “Pop” to his 15 children and “Poopah” to his 39 grandchildren and 46 great-grandchildren (*Taken from the Grand Pooh-Bah in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado).

Family and companionship were things that were extremely important to Jerry.  He met Lorita in Corpus Christi, Texas.  They married in New Braunfels, Texas in the Gazebo at Landa Park on May 6, 2006.  They enjoyed many years together and also with their combined families. 

Jerry had a quiet demeanor and a very quick wit. He was personable and well-liked.  He grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah, Jerry spent much of his time with his father, a forestry worker, patrolling the canyons east of Salt Lake.  

He served in the U.S. Navy in the Medical Service Corps in Korea and Vietnam, aboard the aircraft carrier USS Hancock and the hospital ship USS Hope, as well as military submarines, USS Besugo, USS Tang, and USS Sterlet. He retired in July 1969 as a Lt. Commander.  

Jerry worked as a medical administrator in Southern California. He organized one of the first groups of medical doctors (approximately 15-18) into a combined practice at a time when doctors still practiced in individual private practices. He devised an innovative color-coding system to organize patients’ medical records which is still used in many medical offices.  For a brief period of time, Jerry had a stint as a Singer sewing machine repairman.  He also was a school bus driver for a season.  

He was interested in advancing soccer throughout the United States and in particular, Utah. He worked to have leagues organized and training implemented in the Salt Lake City area.  He volunteered as a Community League Girls’ Assistant Softball Coach while living in the Bay Area.

Jerry has always had an interest in and appreciation for the Fine Arts, especially Theater.  While stationed in Maine, he was involved in a community theater group and enjoyed a few acting parts.   Later in Utah, he built theater sets for local plays.  After retiring from the Military, he pursued a degree in Theater Arts graduating with his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Utah in 1985. 

He volunteered as part of a turtle patrol on Mustang Island spending many hours looking for signs of sea turtles nesting along the beach in order to protect the eggs and the hatchlings at release.  He enjoyed board and card games: Scrabble, Cribbage, Spite and Malice, and Pinocle, to name a few.  

His favorite color: Orange, due to his Irish ancestry.  Jerry enjoyed traveling throughout the United States visiting family, drives through the Texas Hill Country on River Road, singing, especially songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber (one of his all-time favorite composers) and patriotic songs and Sunday dinners with his kids and grandkids

A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, November 20, 2021, at 2:00 PM in the Chapel at Eden Hill Communities at 631 Lakeview Blvd., New Braunfels, Texas 78130.  Donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.

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