Public says thank you and good bye to community leader Jack Ford

Public says thank you and good bye to community leader Jack Ford

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - He was a Toledo city councilman, mayor of Toledo, Ohio state representative and a great leader. On Monday, family, friends and the city he spent much of his life serving said goodbye to Jack Ford at a funeral service.

Hundreds of mourners gathered Monday at the Warren AME Church at 915 Collingwood Blvd. The resounding message was that Ford wanted the city to do better. He believed in the city, and everyone that WTOL spoke with says he will leave behind a lasting legacy.

"Toledo and northwest Ohio has lost a tremendous leader," said Tom Crothers, who worked with Ford. "Jack was a lion."

Those who knew Ford say he empowered people who felt like giving up, and he gave them a voice. During the service, he was described as a mentor, a leader, and a man who truly cared about his community.

"He always looked to young people to mentor them," said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH). "I think the proteges he has around this city will probably double their efforts as a result of his passing."

On Tuesday, a service will be held at St. John Missionary Baptist Church in Springfield, OH. A one-hour visitation will precede the funeral service, starting at noon. An internment service will follow at Ferncliff Cemetery in Springfield.

The public is welcome at all of these services.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by Robert C. Henry Funeral Home of Springfield, OH and The House of Day Funeral Service of Toledo, OH.

In lieu of flowers, the Ford family requests that donations be made to UMADOP Toledo.

Ford was remembered on Sunday at a public memorial service and visitation at Warren AME Church.

The public got a chance to say goodbye, as Ford crossed many paths during his extensive service to the State of Ohio and the City of Toledo.

"He was a guy that did a lot for the city, he got a lot done. And you want me to be really honest about it? What's going to happen without him?," said Lucas County Recorder Phil Copeland.

Those who worked closely with Ford said he's an inspiration.

"I think Jack should be remembered as a community activist, he really cared about people and he cared about Toledo, absolutely," said Ruth Ashford, Candidate for Toledo City Council District 4.

Claudia Worthy Ford, his first wife and one of the few people who has known Jack Ford most of his life, said his legacy to the community would be two-fold.

"One is, no matter who you are, if you want something bad enough, you work for it and you work hard and tirelessly, and you can achieve it. But secondarily, it requires education. Don't drop out, don't turn to the gangs, don't turn to the drugs, get an education, get a good job, and eventually you can be what you want to be. That was Jack's legacy," she said.

Stepson Damian Worthy, who was also a pallbearer, said Ford's 'quiet power' is something he will always remember.

"I think we just need to remember that this is somebody that, every day of his life, gave something to his community. If you look around this room and the people who walk in, he touched so many lives. We can all do that in some way, shape or form. Maybe not as many as he did, but we can try," he said.

Following the visitation, the public was invited to a memorial service with speeches and proclamations on Ford's importance to the community.

State and city officials paid tribute to the political leader, and how he transformed many lives through teaching and public service.

Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH 9th District) said she can't remember a time in her career that Jack Ford wasn't there. She marked the importance of everyone gathering together in his honor.

"I think Jack would like that we're all here. What a beautiful, beautiful moment. Thank you for allowing us to pay our special tribute," she said.

As the community mourns the loss of a great political leader, those who knew, met or worked with Ford all echoed the same sentiment: public service truly defined his life and mission.

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