Judith Ann “Judy” Ford, Judy Blue Eyes; January 28th, 1938 – February 6th, 2015.
Loving Daughter, Wife, Mother, Aunt, Grandmother, Sister and Friend. Courageous, Intelligent, Forthright…Beautiful.
On Friday, February 6th, 2015, Judy Ford, of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, received the angels wings she had already earned in life. Judy passed away peacefully, surrounded by her loving family in her home, just a week after celebrating her 77th birthday.
Judy is survived by her devoted husband Ralph, her children John Ford, Joel Ford and Jill Frustaci, their respective families, and her precious granddaughter, Sophia Frustaci.
She was preceded in grace by her daughter Michelle Louise Ford, her brothers, John & Jim Warren, and her parents, Samuel and Helen Warren…..
Like many of her friends and family members, Judy’s life started from very humble economic and social circumstances. Judy’s life was one highlighted by overcoming such beginnings, economic adversity, social prejudice and personal tragedy. Ultimately, in partnership with her beloved husband Ralph, she persevered on to a life of faith, service and personal and spiritual reward.
Judy was born on the eve of the second world war to Sam and Helen Warren. From the era of the Great Depression, her parents ended up in the Kansas City area, coming from Texas and Colorado respectively. During the war, her father, working on the railroad for the war department, suffered a debilitating accident, falling off a rail car and breaking both legs.
To take care of the family during the rest of the war, Judy’s mother, Helen, road the train to work in the Sunflower Ammunition plant. Judy’s parents actually built one of their own later homes together with their own hands.
In the years following the war, the family was challenged enough that when they could afford meat for the dinner table, it was always chicken. Judy’s closest friends and family were bemused by this fact, knowing that she refused to eat fowl of any kind for the reminder of her life.
In the early years of marriage, Judy was challenged to overcome the most profound sorrow. Her father, initially enamored of her fiance, decided to disavow her as a daughter as a result of learning that his soon to be son-in-law, was of a different religious denomination than his own. He did not attend their wedding. A few years later, this disappointment was magnified by the sudden loss of her second child, Michelle Louise, to cancer.
Through circumstances that could threaten any marriage, Judy persevered to overcome these sorrows, successfully raised her 3 children, and built a successful business with her husband in the insurance industry that duly rewarded her with an enjoyable family home, satisfying social life and international world travel, including her beloved, favorite destination, England.
Along with her sister-in-law and her best friends, she was somewhat of a pioneer. In a period just before the heyday of the feminist movement, the only women expected to attend college to that point were those of typically privileged backgrounds, mostly from the eastern United States. Like her close friends, Judy was one of the first generation of women from working class backgrounds in the newly emerging middle class, to graduate from college and to pay their own way in doing so.
Judy was a graduate of Paseo High School in Kansas City and a graduate of Avila College, majoring in English Literature and Elizabethan History.
While her husband was serving in the United States Marine Corp at the beginning of the Vietnam war, Judy taught school to rural children in South Carolina near their military posting. She also worked at the library of Southwest High School and in the accounting department of Avon Products headquarters in Kansas City.
During the early years of her marriage, she enjoyed summer vacation drives with her husband and children to Texas and Ohio to visit her wonderful friend Lale Lindley and her two daughters.
She also enjoyed 4th of July getaways to Lake Lotawana, and lazy inner tube rides in the lake with her great friends Sandra Gale and Diane Scott, as members of the exclusive “LITC” club (Lotawana Inner Tube Club).
Additionally, she enjoyed time with her mother and her brothers’ families at her mother’s peaceful mobile park “Maple Hill” in Stockton, Missouri.
Besides her family and the state of Colorado, the love of Judy’s life was her travel to, and enduring admiration of Great Britain. On the numerous trips she took to the United Kingdom, Judy established lifelong second family relationships with 4 separate families from places such as Surrey, Brockdish, and the Cotswolds, many of whom came to visit her in both Kansas City and Colorado.
Judy was a skilled artist, producing countless needlepoint wall hangings in the early American style and several latch-hook rugs, many of which decorate her homes in Colorado and Kansas City. She gave generously to numerous charities in her lifetime, including Wounded Warriors, children’s hospitals and the church, to name just a few.
She lived her life forthrightly with a simple spirituality, with no fan-fare regarding her own challenges, only encouraging her children to learn from her experiences and to cherish freedom while being grateful for life’s blessings…
In lieu of flowers or gifts to the family, donations may be made in Judy’s name to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105, or to St. Jude’s website at stjude.org. Assistance by Funeral Advocates, LLC