Timothy Alan “Tim” Ford ’73
Tim Ford passed away Friday 27th, 2015 at his home in Oxford, MS, 200 yards from the entrance to Ole Miss, the University of that he loved; with his wife, Kathy, the woman that he loved by his side. Tim was born October 22, 1951 in Baldwyn, Mississippi, the son of Dr. John Mitchell and Rachel Agnew Ford. Along with being a devoted Eagle Scout, Tim was Valedictorian and an All Tombigbee quarterback of the Baldwyn Bearcats. Tim went to Ole Miss and was a pole vaulter on the track team but after pledging Sigma Nu and being elected cheerleader, he abandoned track as well as his pre-med major. After graduation from Ole Miss Law School, Tim practiced law with Carnathan and Malski and was Assistant District Attorney until his election to the Mississippi House of Representatives at age 27. In 1986, he was elected Speaker at age 36. While Speaker, he chaired the Southern Legislative Conference, National Speakers Conference and the State Legislative Leaders Foundation. Tim was the first House Speaker in the nation to receive the William M. Bulger Excellence in State Legislative Leadership Award and was recipient of the Supreme Court 2003 Chief Justice Award. During his legislative career, Tim was a strong supporter of economic development, agriculture, fiscal affairs and education at all levels. On his retirement from the Legislature in 2004, he was the longest then serving Speaker in the United States and the second longest serving Speaker in the history of Mississippi. After his legislative career, Tim went back to the practice of law and was a Senior Partner and member of the Executive Committee of Balch and Bingham, a 250 member firm with offices in four states and Washington, D.C.
What Tim accomplished in public service, however noted and honorable, does not compare with the lives that he touched, friends that he made and happiness that he brought to everyone who knew him. His genial nature and sense of fairness served him and the State of Mississippi well in those 16 years he presided as Speaker. This State that he loved so much is a better place for his having lived and died in it.
Tim married Kathy Watkins Braddock on July 1, 2006 and lived happily ever after. He knew himself blessed to have her and her daughters Hope and Leighton join him and his sons Ken and Sam in a great joyous family. It has been said by many that Tim Ford was the best liked man that they ever knew and all who knew him are grateful. Tim was predeceased by his parents, Rachel Agnew Ford and Dr. John Mitchell Ford and is survived by his wife, Kathy Braddock Ford of Jackson, MS, sons Kenneth Alan Ford (Debbie) of Nashville, TN and Samuel Foose Ford of Columbus, MS, daughters Hope Mitchell (Gerry) of Meridian, MS and Leighton Mason (Robert) of Oxford, MS, grandchildren Simmons Ford, Eli Mitchell, Meredith Mitchell, Mims Mason and Bo Mason, brother Chip Ford (Janice) of Greenwood, MS and Nan Robinson (Greg) of Meridian, MS; and nieces and nephews Carrie Ford and Rachel Ford both of Boise, Idaho, Mitch Robinson of Washington D.C. and Morgan Robinson of Birmingham, Alabama.
Visitation is Monday, March 2, 2015 from 3:00 to 5:00 PM and Tuesday, March 3, 2015 from 9:00 to 11:00 AM at Parkway Funeral Home, formerly Wright & Ferguson, on Highland Colony Parkway in Ridgeland.
A memorial will be held at Paris-Yates Chappell on the campus at Ole Miss at 3:00 PM on Tuesday, March 3, 2015. Shuttles to the memorial will be available at 2:15 PM, leaving from the University’s Jackson Avenue Center on Jackson Avenue W (Oxford Mall).
In keeping with a servant’s attitude, Tim donated his body to The University of Mississippi Medical Center.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to The Tim Ford Scholarship Fund care of The University of Mississippi Foundation, 406 University Avenue, Oxford, MS 38655.