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John Ronnie Ford

Posted By Nathaniel Holman On August 18, 2015 @ 10:55 pm In Obituaries | 2 Comments

Memorial services for John Ronnie Ford, 68, of Rickman will be held Saturday, August 22, at high noon at Salem United Methodist Church, 1011 Salem Church Road, Cookeville.

The family will receive friends from 10 a.m. to noon at the church with a reception following the service.

Mr. Ford died Monday, August 17, 2015 at Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital in Nashville after an extended illness. He was born June 19, 1947 in McMinnville to the late Avie Padgett Jones of Cookeville and the late John Lewis Ford of Burbank, California.

Raised in Cookeville, Mr. Ford held a fascination for the Wild West Frontier and a huge respect for Native Americans. He loved to watch John Wayne Westerns and he loved the clear common sense spoken by Cherokee cowboy and humorist Will Rogers. He himself would have no doubt been a Pony Express Rider of the Wild West had he been born only100 years earlier. Instead, he settled for crossing the plains and over the Rockies behind the horsepower of an 18 wheeler as he made literally hundreds of trips from the East Coast to the West Coast, New York City to Chicago to Miami, and all parts in between. On the road Mr. Ford’s trucker call sign was “Calfkiller,” a name he adopted from a rural community just outside of Monterey.

After his retirement from K&K Trucking in Carthage, Mr. Ford took to the open road on his beloved Harley Davidson motorcycle. If it wasn’t raining, snowing, or temperatures below freezing, his new Harley Street Glide was often Mr. Ford’s favored mode of transportation.

A member of Salem United Methodist Church, Mr. Ford was a devoted and faithful servant for God while here on Earth. He served on the Prayer Task Force and at the Church Food Bank where he volunteered every Wednesday to serve those in need. He also took great pleasure in providing inspirational and uplifting messages for the church signage outside in which his grandchildren would happily assist him with each week.

Called “Papa,” by his grandchildren and “Bubba” by his children, Mr. Ford’s family includes son Jeffrey Millard Ford and daughter-in-law Kashae Katherine Ford of Cookeville and daughter Elizabeth Ruth Howard and son-in-law Sam Howard of Rickman; brother Willie Frank Jones Jr. of Cookeville and sisters Martha Rebecca Jones of Gatlinburg and Cynthia Elizabeth Clapp of Maryville; six grandchildren, Jalesa Katherine and Branson Ray Ford, Matthew Arlen Pancoast, Terry Michael Ford, Caitlyn Nicole and Riley Patricia Grace Howard; and a host of adoring cousins, nieces and nephews.

In addition to his father, mother, he was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 42 years Patricia “Pat” Katherine Cowan Ford; his son Terry Lynn Ford: his brother Robert Lewis Ford; his stepfather Willie Frank Jones; and his grandparents Millard and Ada Williams Padgett.

Revs. Mike Womack and Randy Prichard will officiate at the services. Friends, family and fellow motorcycle enthusiasts are welcomed to attend.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hannah House Native American Outreach and to the Salem United Methodist Church Youth Program.

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Condolences for the family of “John Ronnie Ford”

Condolence from Becky Jones on August 19th, 2015 12:21 pm

I must say my brother Ronnie stood up perfectly to death…. he wasn’t afraid, he never complained, and he was always patient with us. He always told me that we had never changed. My mother’s three little indians as we were affectionately called…. Frankie, Becky, and Cindy! I can’t imagine being a child and taking on the likes of us but he did it and we always had fun. Not many brothers will let little kids tag along on their dates but Ronnie did. He had a huge heart and was always generous. My first Italian bicycle was purchased by Ronnie. My first motorcycle was a hand-me-down from Ronnie. He weaned me off the extra large tricycle I loved and taught me how to ride a bicycle. He taught me how to drive a straight shift and to this day, I am yet to own an automatic car. I prefer a standard shift! My brother Ronnie didn’t have the means to go to college but he was wise beyond measure. And as my cousins know, Ronnie’s sense of humor was edgy and sometimes too close to the truth. Ronnie knows I loved him and that is all that matters now… The love he gave to me is mine to keep forever…. Those are my Mother’s words. “Only my soul I keep,” she wrote in a note that was inside her Bible. We love you Ronnie. And I thank you for going down the road on a beautiful clear day in the back seat of your 1956 Cadillac listening to the Beatles “Lonely Hearts Club Band.” Yes, we do get by with a little help from our friends. And Ronnie is my brother. But he is even more importantly, my friend. I love you Ronnie and I will see you on that beautiful shore.

Condolence from Don Carlson on August 20th, 2015 7:38 am

R. I.P trucking brother. You will be miss and thank you for your service to this country as a truck driver.

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