Beatrice Alice Ford, 99, died peacefully at the Bishop Noa Home on Sunday, January 11, 2015, 14 days shy of her 100th birthday. She was born January 25, 1915 in Cornell, the daughter of Frank and Dieudonna (Maccoux) DeGrand. She married Clayton Ford on June 7, 1937 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Escanaba. She lived most of her life in Cornell where she and Clayton operated a dairy farm and she also raised chickens and tended to her large vegetable garden. For many years she had a weekly egg route where she delivered farm fresh eggs to many people in the Escanaba area. After selling the farm in 1972, Beatrice and Clayton built a new home on the banks of the Escanaba River and for over 20 years wintered in Donna, Texas. It was in those retirement years that they had the opportunity to spend a great deal of time with their grandchildren, helping to tend the garden and teaching them to play card games. All of their grandchildren have wonderful memories of those times. For the past 15 years Beatrice has lived and been cared for by the wonderful staff at the Bishop Noa Home in Escanaba.
Beatrice was a very humble and giving person. She was a fabulous cook and her greatest joy was preparing meals for her family and canning fruits and vegetables from her garden. The grandchildren will tell you she made the world’s best sweet pickles. She was devoted to her children and grandchildren. She enjoyed playing cards, bingo and watching the Detroit Tigers on television. She was also an adult leader for the Cornell 4-H Club for many years.
Beatrice was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Clayton, who died in 1996, 4 brothers, 7 sisters and a granddaughter, Jennifer Ford.
She is survived by her children, Sister Jean Ford of South Milwaukee, WI, Gerald Ford of Sun City, CA, Vernon (Sharon) Ford of Rotunda West, FL, Carol (Gordon) Shepherd of Mesquite, NV, and Dale (Ann) Ford of Gladstone; 8 Grandchildren, Henning (Lisa) Peterson III, Linda (Dan) Evans, Judy (Pim) Brouwer, Jeff (Annika) Ford, Scott (Lee Ann) Ford, Michael Ford, Rev. Ryan Ford and Hayley Ford, and 10 Great Grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held on Thursday, January 22, 2015 at St. Anne’s Catholic Church. Visitation will be at the Church beginning at 1 pm followed by the Mass of Christian Burial at 3 pm with Grandson Rev. Ryan Ford and Rev. Francis DeGroot officiating. A luncheon will follow. Burial will be in Gardens of Rest Cemetery.
The Crawford Funeral Home is assisting the family.