Friday, January 15, 2016

Obituary of Member Chris Ford

Ford Chris Ford, passed away on January 11, 2016, doing what he loved, hunting with his son. Born August 15, 1934 in Mount Vernon, Ohio. He was raised in Mansfield by his late parents Betty and Vernon Ford. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Georgene Ford; and three children, Brian (Annie), Sally Ford-Lyles (Kevin), Mike (Cheryl); grandchildren, Matt, Kate, Xander, Mike Jr., Devoney, and Hunter. Also survived by his brothers, Vernon (Phu) and Steve (Sharon); brother-in-law, Charles Birmelin; and mother-in-law, Margaret Ritchie; sister-in-law, Jan (Phil); and numerous nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by brother Phil Ford. He attended Mansfield Senior High School where he excelled as a football player from 1949-52. State Champion in 1949. He received a scholarship to play football for the Bowling Green State University Falcons. His wrestling career started at BGSU. Chris was a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. His high school sweetheart Georgene Birmelin followed him to Bowling Green. He received a B.S. in Health, Physical Education and Biology, played center and inside linebacker, and was part of the MAC Championship Team. After graduated he began his coaching and teaching career in Huron, Ohio, where he taught Health, Phys. Ed., Drivers Ed. and coached football, wrestling and track. He had many Wrestling State Champions and is in the Huron High School Hall of Fame. He left Huron for Ashland (College) University. He was the Head Wrestling Coach, Soccer Coach, and Asst. Football Coach. He was a professor in kinesiology. Received his Masters in Biology from University Of Toledo. At Ashland, he had 21 All-Americans, served as the Head Coach for U.S. Junior World Wrestling Team in Italy. Was named the N.C.A.A. Division III Coach of the Year 1976. He served as the President for the N.C.A.A. College Division Wrestling Coaches Association for divisions II and III, President of the National Wrestling Coaches Association. Helped establish the Phi Delta Theta Chapter at Ashland University. He became The Ohio State University Wrestling Coach, 1976 -86. He coached 46 Big Ten Place winners, 6 All-Americans and 1 National Champion. In 1978, he was inducted into the Ohio Wrestling Hall of Fame, and in 2010 he was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. From 1970 -80 he was President of the Ohio Chapter, United Wrestling Federation. He taught many courses at OSU including his favorite Ballroom dancing. Most importantly he served as mentor, sounding board, life coach, father figure, and lifetime friend to hundreds of athletes and students over the years. Chris left coaching and entered into Financial and Estate Planning, receiving his CLU, ChFC , and N.A.S.D. License Series 6,7,24,63. He received Columbus General Agent's Managers Association Agent of the year, and worked for McCloy Financial Services, and MetLife as a Investment Specialist and Compliance Officer. He returned to wrestling to coach his grandson, Mike Jr. at Dublin Jerome High School. Chris started the program for the new high school, had 8 district qualifiers, 1 state qualifier and 5 first team All-Conference. His greatest joy was doing things with his family. He loved working out in the morning, fishing, hunting, going to games, traveling, refurnishing furniture, and home remodeling. He became an award- winning wood carver. His love of fishing, and hunting lead him to carving birds. He has many awards including a Best in Show at the Cleveland International Carving Show, in 2015 he won First Place at the International Carving Competition in Maryland. He loved creating his sculptures as gifts for family, friends and for fundraisers for groups dear to him. Chris lived life full throttle staying involved with OSU Wrestling and never missing an opportunity for a new experience or travel. One of his favorite recent adventures was celebrating his 80 birthday by skydiving with his three oldest grandchildren. Friends may call Sunday, January 17 from 3-8 p.m., SCHOEDINGER WORTHINGTON CHAPEL, 6699 North High Street. Funeral service will be held on Tuesday, January 19 at 12 noon with visitation at 11 a.m. - See more at:

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