We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Keenan Funeral Home
Robert L. “Bob” Ford of Northford, CT, died peacefully in his sleep at home on June 22, 2022, one day shy of his 92nd birthday. He was born in West Haven, CT, on June 23, 1930, the son of Ernest Ford and Susan Sylvester Ford.
Bob grew up in West Haven during the Great Depression as a Savin Rock “Rock Rat.” He attended Milford High School, 1944–1948, where he was a standout on the football and track teams. After high school, Bob entered New Haven State Teachers College (now Southern Connecticut University) as an art major, where he also was a standout on the football team under Coach Jess Dow and held the state scoring record for several years. Upon completion of OCS training and enlisted duty in the Naval Reserve, he was commissioned and assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Valley Forge (CVA-45), serving in combat operations during the Korean War as part of Task Force 77, Seventh Fleet. He was a Division Officer in the Gunnery Department and one of only six officers qualified to serve as Officer of the Deck, the commanding officer’s representative on the bridge. Upon release from active duty, he remained in the Naval Reserve, serving with Naval Security Group for 12 years as an Intelligence Officer and achieving the rank of Lieutenant Commander. Under his command, his unit earned first place in the Third Naval District Competition in 1964 and went from a 73rd ranking to fifth and third nationally.
Bob attended the Yale School of Art and Architecture from 1957–1960, where he had the privilege of learning under such professors as Josef Albers and Louis Kahn. During this time he met and married Miriam, his muse and rock for 64 years. Looking back on it all, they’ll always have Northford.
Bob worked with United States Gypsum Company in New York City providing technical advice on building systems to major architectural firms while teaching evening classes on construction estimating at the Mechanics and Tradesmen Institute. After moving to New Haven in 1967, he worked for the Southern Connecticut Gas Company as an industrial architectural engineer until his retirement in 1995.
Bob was an active member of the community and a man of many talents. He was an accomplished sketch artist, hilarious letter writer, and licensed aircraft pilot. He taught Sunday School at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Queens, NY; served as a volunteer fireman and Emergency Medical Technician with Northford Company 3; was chairman of the Conservation Commission and a member of the Inland Wetlands Committee in North Branford; was a delegate to the 3rd US Congressional District Convention; coached youth football in New Haven and North Branford; and helped establish the West Haven Veterans Museum. His memberships included the Airplane Owners and Pilots Association, Veterans of Foreign Wars, National Rifle Association, Southern Connecticut Football Alumni Association, Navy League, and Sons of the American Revolution. His interests were eclectic and included World War I, art and architecture, American folk music, chess, cryptography, the US labor movement, astronomy, photography, and the New York Giants. He enjoyed memorable travels across the United States and Canada, the Caribbean, Japan, postwar Korea, and Hong Kong. He maintained close friendships with his childhood, college, and Navy buddies throughout the years until he was the “senior officer present.”
Bob is survived by his wife, Miriam (“Mickey”), his son David (Kathleen), his daughter Tracy, his son Jon (Heather), and his grandchildren Nicole, Bryan, Kaitlyn, and Madelyn. He is predeceased by his parents and brother, David L. Ford, and many great friends.
There will be a visitation to pay respects at Keenan Funeral Home in North Branford, CT, on July 2 from 10:00 to 12:00, followed by a service at 12 p.m. Burial with Military Honors will be held immediately after at Northford Cemetery. Donations in Bob’s honor can be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or the veterans’ charity of your choice.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105