Donald James Ford passed away Aug 9 2017, at home surrounded by family and loved ones. Donald was born September 24th, 1955 in El Paso TX, to Russell B Ford and Margie N Ford. Don married his soul mate Ruth Harper on November 9th, 1974 and they were sealed in the Temple of the Latter-Day Saints on April 29th, 1980.
Don was a man who did it all, he started his career in public service as a mechanic for the Roswell Police Department in 1974. He transferred to the city animal control where he worked until he found his true calling in life. In 1981, Don joined the Roswell Fire Department where he became an EMT and eventually worked up the ranks to Lieutenant. Don was known as, “Big Daddy” around the Fire Department. He retired from Roswell Fire Department in 1997 but did not retire from the fire service. He rejoined the fire service by becoming a volunteer firefighter with the Sierra Fire Department in 1997. He became Chief of Sierra Fire Department in 2005. Under Chief Ford, Sierra added 2 new stations and grew to the largest volunteer fire department in Chaves County. Don also started working for the Roswell Independent School District as a teaching assistant where he worked for 20 years until his death. Donald started TLC pet cremation in 1997 and started a service the community desperately needed for all our pets. In 2000, Don started fighting wildland fires for the government from 2000 to 2016. Don travelled from Florida to Oregon and everywhere in between fighting fires. Every December, since 1992, Don would put on his Santa suit and go around making every child happy as Santa Claus. Don worked For Office of Medical Investigator for 10 years and owned and operated First Choice cleaning service for 12 years.
Don loved serving the people of his community. In June of 2014, he was honored with the Red Cross hero of the year for his fire service. He was an avid blood donor and donated gallons of blood over his lifetime. Don touched so many people’s lives and was a father-figure to so many. He had the amazing ability to make everyone feel like they were his best friend and most special person. He will be missed by everyone that knew him.
Don was preceded in death by his father, Russell B Ford. Don is survived by his mother Margie N. Ford of Ft Sumner, NM; his wife Ruth Ford of Roswell; his children Elaine Gadbury and her husband Michael of Roswell, son Matthew Ford and his wife Mandy of Roswell, Samuel Ford of Roswell, Aaron Ford and Kait Alley of Santa Fe, NM, Tyler Ford and his wife Brieanne of Roswell and Brittney Rubio and her husband Mike of Lubbock, TX; sisters Patricia Prenatt of Ely NV, and Marjory Rascon of Roswell; 9 grandchildren Audrey, Michael, Loretta, Rylan, Patricia, Charlene, Aydan, Ethan, Max and 1 on the way; great grandson Apollo; and numerous nieces and nephews. It would be impossible to list all the people that loved Don and thought of him as a father, brother or mentor.
Rest now my fallen brother
Lay soft your suffering back.
Rest well and forever
Your memory shall not lack.
Rest your tired hands
Wipe clean your weary brow,
Rest with St. Florian
Your spirit now endowed.
Rest here your breaking heart
We know you gave your all,
Rest easy, you’ve done your part
You’ve answered your last call.
Rest knowing that in God we sought
Oh lord, watch over another who just fell
Rest assured your troubled thought
As we ring the final bell.
Visitation will be held at Ballard Funeral Home on Monday August 14 from 8am to 5pm and on Tuesday August 15 from 8am to 4pm. The funeral service will be on Tuesday August 15 at 6pm at the Church of Latter-Days Saints located at 2201 W. Country Club Rd in Roswell, NM. Immediately following the service Mr. Ford will make his final ride through town on the fire engine to Ballard Funeral Home. For anyone that would like to join the family in celebrating his life we will meet at Sierra station #1, 603 S. Brown Rd Roswell, NM for food and happy memories following the service.
I am so sorry for yalls loss. I am sending you all prayers and good thoughts in this time of greiving. He was welcomed at those pearly gates by some amazing people.
Lots of love
Lacey OldhamSilver city, NM
My Love & prayers go to the families, with Love, uncle Don
DONALD F FORDPembroke, MA
Don was one of the best man I have ever known! I worked with him for years at Rhs! He touched so many lives! My thoughts and prayers are with you all!
Dana HowseDexter, NM
May God grant you eternal peace and rest Mr Ford. For you have truly earned your wings. Thank you for all that you have done for our family. You were a great and memorable teacher to our son. He will never forget you,and neither will we. For you were truly a one of kind teacher. One who cared enough to help set him on the right path. Thank you for that. Rest in peace and comfort. Thoughts and prayers of,comfort,peace and strength for his family. The Pacheco Family.
Mr and Mrs Greg H Pacheco and FamilyRoswell, NM
Don was a wonderful friend, co-worker and neighbor for many years. My sincere condolence to his family and friends. Where he has gone there is no more sorrow and pain. May God comfort family and friends and the many memories bring peace.
Connie StuartRoswell, NM
Rip Don, your memory will carry on with all your loved one's, and those many lives you touched!!
Jaime AlvaRoawell, NM
I would like to offer my condolences to your family in your time of loss. Don was one of the good guys gone to soon
Elsie GreerRoswell, NM
Sorry for your loss prayers going out to the family may he RIP He will be missed by all that knew him
Kathryn Ford FerreiraPlymouth, MA
Godspeed sweet soul. I didn't have a chance to meet you but you seem to be someone I would've really liked and found down to earth. Your family obviously loves you very much and is heartbroken but I understand why. I thank you and your family for all of the love and goodwill that you shared with the world and your community. It saddens me that we have lost a genuinely positive soul. My prayers are strong and steady for your mom, wife and numerous children and grandchildren. I know that they have been instilled with good and positive values by you and I know that they will continue to prosper in life with you watching and guiding them from Heaven. Rest In Peace and in Heaven with that reassurance. Til I meet you in Heaven one day...Thank you! R.I.P AND R.I.H.
Dionna Mosley-VallejosRoswell, NM
I just learned of Don Ford passing away. I am very sad. I wanted to send my deepest condolences to the Ford family. I am so sorry for your loss. Don will be truly missed.
Monique Bowman HodgeRoswell, NM
We are thinking of all of the family at this time, many of whom we've never met. Reading Don's obituary I see that you all must be very proud of his accomplishments and everything he did to help others. As a child, when I lived in Roswell, I remember Don always being nice to me. I'm so very sorry that he has been taken from all of you, but at least he will be with his Dad and my brother Sonny.
Aunt Orinne & Uncle Jim
Orinne & Jim McCloskeyWeymouth, MA
Rest in peace Don thank you for all you tought me while working with the department and keeping me safe. Prayers for your family. I think of you as brother and darn good friend. Rest easy my dear friend.
TrySee WycheRoswell, NM
May you rest from all your cares in God's eternal embrace and may peace be granted to family and loved ones.
Humberto FloresLas Cruces, NM
Don was one of "Good Guys." I am grateful for having the opportunity to know him. We will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers will be with his family and all whose lives Don impacted.
Michael and Gina BuldraRoswell, NM
May peace and comfort attend all family and friends at this difficult time. Don your life will serve as a witness to everyone that goodness exits in this world. I call you my friend my brother in the gospel of Jesus Christ,I am grateful that I knew you, you lightened my load in times past Thank you for a wonderful friendship and all you helped me with. May you RIP
Edward CobbROSWELL, NM
My heart goes out to the Ford family. I had the chance to work with Don and his sons for a few years. Don was a great man and it showed in everything he did. His passing is a great loss for all of us here in Chaves County. We could never repay all he has done for our community. I know his sons will carry on his legacy.
Angelo GuruleRoswell, NM
We will never forget the amazing impact you had on our lives.
Amanda ThomasRoswell, NM
Our community shines a little dimmer without his presence, but way brighter because he was here. He will be missed.
Barry FosterRoswell, NM
Please my sincere condolences, though I may not know him but a friend of a friend is a friend.
Robin TeaNorth Salt Lake, UT
My sincerst condolences & prayers ,
to the family for the lost of their loved OnE,
Don FORD .~
But rejoice :
In the Celebration of his LIFE .
Don is in Heaven now : His New Home ~
DoN is resting in the arms of OUR SWEET LORD .✝️
Where there is no more Tears .~
No more suffering .~ or Pain :
No more separation from our Loved ones .💜
✝️God promise is ~
that we WiLL see our Loved ONES again ...
. in Heaven :🌈💜
Ms. Vickie McNeilLubbock, TX
May Our mighty Lord Bless the families and hold you tightly Mr.Ford. You Will truely be missed. Thank You for always being there.
Robert VillarealRoswell, NM
I'm so sorry for your loss. Don was such a wonderful person. He will be greatly missed.
Michaela Puckett-RobertsonRoswell, NM
Our condolences to the FORD family, Don will never ever be forgotten in our hearts. He meant so much to us. We are here for you if you need us. Love you all.
SVFD Gilbert N Phil LuceroRoswell, NM
I am very sorry for your loss. My prayers go out to your family 🙏🏻 Don was an amazing man. I'm proud to call him my friend. He touched so many lives, my family's included. Have peace knowing Don is no longer in pain and now has his wings
Joan TemperoRoswell, NM
Don was like a second father to me all through high school. His son Tyler and I were best friends who hung out together all the time, and played many sports together in high school. We had many great times together, and I have many fond memories of Mr. Ford. He was a great father figure, had a heart of gold and was loved by all who knew him! Prayers for his entire family and friends.
Rest well good and faithful servant. I shall miss you my friend.
Kevin and Sherry SykesRoswell, NM
RIP Mr. Ford , You were the Best ! You touched more lives than you will ever know, you were always there to lend a hand an give a kind word. You changed the lives of the students you worked with. You Will Be Very Much Missed By All.
Lisa K. ShipmanRoswell, NM
So sorry for your loss, may God comfort you and your family during this time.
Carl and Marlana MasonGrants Pass, OR
Our prayers are with youll love youll
Betty @ Claude Jr MillerMagazine, AR
I met Don while working with the American Red Cros so sorry for your losd
Kathy WebbYakima, WA
Blessed journey home to the Lord. Peace and tranquility to your loved ones
Angie Dennis-AltermanArlington, TX
I so enjoyed getting to know Mr Ford while working with him at RHS this past year. We only worked together for what would be his last 4 months there but I truly believe God brought us together. Mr Ford's BIG heart, selflessness, and genuine care for those around him was abundantly evident. He would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. We were able to laugh together, pray together, and cry together. I thank God for Mr Ford's life! My thoughts and prayers go out to his family...I am so sorry for your loss!
Kesha MilesCoffeyville, KS
Chief Don Ford,
Well what can I say sir but thank you for everything that you have done not only for me, but for Chaves County. You have touched many people on this Earth. Also you will be truly missed sir. Dont worry sir I will take it from here, gonna miss you Sir.
Luis DelgadoDexter, NM
It was a pleasure and honor to work with you at RHS. YOU WERE LOVED BY MANY.
Thank you for the years of friendship.
Joanna PadillaRoswell, NM
We are so sorry for your loss.
Jimmy and Susan HickmanRoswell, NM
I have always adored and loved my brother-in-law Don. He has a heart of gold and never met a stranger! He helped me when I was down and out with no home for myself and my two little ones. In 1979 he was managing a Raebell gas station here in Roswell. I left California to get away from my abusive husband and had nowhere to go he opened up his home and let me work the window to earn money so that I could put food on the table for my babies. He was always there when I needed him. I will always love and miss his genourous and loving heart! RIP my sweet sweet brother ❤️
Crystal CodyBroomfield, CO
Don, thank you for the wonderful man that you are. You will truly be missed. I do look forward to a reunion with you on the other side. Love and miss you, Rachel.
Rachel ClarkHolly Ridge, NC
To the the Ford family so sorry for your loss Don was great friend to all people he will be truly missed
Jodi DeeterRoswell, NM
I am sorry that I will not able to show up for the funeral on tuesday night
please i am sorry about the lost of the sierra fire department chief
from Mr. Jeffery Ahlen
Mr. jeffery AhlenRoswell, NM