Dr. James A. Ford

February 3, 1934 ~ October 6, 2019

Born in: Chicago, IL
Resided in: Johnson City, TN

Dr. James A. “Papa” Ford, 85, passed away Sunday, October 6, 2019, at his home in Johnson City.

Jim and family moved to Johnson City in 1983. He was the son of the late Kenneth and Mary Alice Ford.

Jim graduated from New Trier High School in Glenview, Illinois in 1951, where he was an outstanding swimmer setting numerous state and school records. He graduated from University of Michigan in 1956 with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering (Metallurgical Engineering), and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering (Chemical Engineering), he was also a member of the University swim team. In 1957, he obtained his Master of Science in Engineering (Metallurgical Engineering) and in 1962 he was awarded his Doctor of Philosophy (Metallurgical Engineering) from the University of Michigan. He served as Chairman of the Connecticut section of the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers from 1971-1972. He was awarded “Fellow” of the American Society for Metals in recognition of his distinguished contributions in the field of Metals and Materials on October 8, 1986. This represents his accomplishments for outstanding research contributions in the area of aluminum, specialty metals and heavy metals, and the ability to couple research to business requirements. He served as president of the Federation of Materials and Society in 1985-1986.

Jim was an assistant high school hockey coach at Parkway West High School in Ballwin, Missouri in 1978-1979, a member of the North Haven Jaycee’s, and he devoted many hours of volunteer service to the United Way.

After he retired, his favorite past time was fly fishing and gardening, specializing in Dahlias for which he received multiple awards. He enjoyed spending time with his children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren, attending and supporting them in the many different sporting events, and celebrating their numerous successes and achievements.

In addition to his parents, Jim was preceded in death by: one sister, Ann Ford; one child, Douglas “DJ” Hanneken; one grandchild, James A. Ford II; his first wife, Mary JoAnn Ford; and cousin, Mary Dixie.

Survivors include: his wife of forty-four years, Louise Ford; five daughters, Wendy “Bird” Ford, Suellen “Pumpkin” Ford, Lisa “Lee Lee” Ford and fiance John Fant, Mary Ann “Mimi” Jaster and husband Steven, and Christina Quercia; five sons, Kenneth “Yogi” Ford and wife Eliene, Stephen “Boo-Boo, Beaver” Ford, Daniel Hanneken, Donald Hanneken, James “Chip” Hanneken and wife Leslie; one brother, Howard Ford and wife Christine; 30 grandchildren, Jared, Sarah, Rhiannon, Daniel, Jesse, Carissa, Anne, Erin, Rachael, Whitney, Alex, Riley, Stephen, Jameson, Gregory, Lisa, Nathaniel, Ashley, Taylor, Steven, Joseph, Christopher, Matthew, Danielle, Daniel, Brittany, Kala, Ellie, Jobe and Eli; 22 great grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren; niece, Samantha Brown and husband Ryan; nephew, Bradley Ford and wife Lauren; great niece, Aria; and cousin, Leslie.

In celebration of his life, services will be held at 3:00 PM on Sunday, November 10, 2019, at Glenview Community Church in Glenview, Illinois, where he will be interred in the memorial garden with his father, mother and sister.

The family requests that memorial contributions be made to the American Diabetes Association, https://donations.diabetes.org


The family greatly appreciates donations made to these charities in James A. Ford's name.

American Diabetes Association

220 Great Circle Road
Nashville, TN

Memories Timeline


  1. james b dore II says:

    Dr. ford was like a second father to me in many ways. De and my dad James Earnest Dore were life long friends. I had the privlage of spending many hours of my life Fly Fishing rivers in the western US with Dr. Ford. Prayers to him and all of the family. love you all!! Jim we will keep up the fishing tradition for another generation!! Peace my Friend!!! Jimmy

  2. Mark Mabry says:

    Lou & family, our thoughts and prayers are with you with the passing of Jim. Jim hired me in to Aerojet in 1985 after meeting me at an ASM meeting in Knoxville where I was the student body president of the Oak Ridge Chapter of ASM. i enjoyed working for Jim over the years and it was never boring. One of my fondest memories of Jim was a fishing trip up near Hendersonville NC to his “fishing club”. He had bragged about the nice fish he was catching at their stream and took me up there on a Saturday. After fly fishing for about an hour with no luck (he had caught a few but I was blanked), I found him up stream and joked “where are all of these trout you have been bragging about?” Jim just smiled and we walked back down stream toward the “lodge” and he grabbed a hand full of what I thought was cat food (but was probably Purina Trout chow) and tossed it into the middle of the stream where it widened up a little bit into a small pool and all of a sudden the water start to “boil”. Those trout were going crazy and there must have been 50 of them in that one small pool. Jim told me the fish up there were pretty smart and you had to sneak up on them with the right bait. I guess the right bait was Purina trout chow…

  3. lily says:

    We miss you.

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