William Bill Albert Ford

June 20, 1920 ~ October 9, 2011

William Albert "Bill" Ford (Paw Paw Bill), 91, of Lake Charles passed away on Sunday October 9, 2011 at a local hospital.

Bill was born in San Bernadino, California, on June 20, 1920, to Leo and Mildred White Ford. The family moved to northern Oklahoma when Bill was two years old. He graduated from Cherokee High School in Cherokee, OK, in 1938 and later served in the Army Air Force during World War II as an aircraft radio operator and mechanic. Bill returned to Cherokee, after being discharged from the service, where he met and married his wife Beatrice Culley in 1946. After graduating from Northwestern State College in Alva, Oklahoma in 1949, he worked for Boeing Aircraft in Wichita Kansas until 1953 when he and the family moved to Lake Charles, Louisiana. He managed the Pepsi Cola and Seven Up franchise for many years and also served as the Business Administrator of University United Methodist Church from 1975 until his retirement in 1985.

Bill was an active member of University United Methodist Church for fifty-eight years teaching Sunday School, participating in United Methodist Men and serving on numerous committees through the years. He served as Treasurer for the Lake Charles District United Methodist Church and was on the Wesley Foundation Board of Directors. Bill was Treasurer for University United Methodist Church Day School, served on the Day School Committee and took care of the Day School payroll until shortly before his death.

He enjoyed sports of all types both as a participant in high school and college and then later as a fan. He especially loved discussing sports with his grandson, Brett. Bill was an avid golfer and a member of the Mallard Cove Golf Association. He played two to three days a week until he became ill a few months ago. He enjoyed spending time with his golfing buddies during and after their games.

He is survived by daughters, Pam Burns and husband Charlie of Glendale, CA and Peggy Ford and Mary Champagne of Crowley, LA; grandchildren, Melissa Blakey and Brett Blakey and wife Sarah; great-granddaughter, Norah Jane Blakey; sisters, Joan Henderson and husband Lloyd and Patricia Watts and husband Dick; nieces, nephews, cousins and life-long friends that he adored and considered his family.

He was preceded in death by Beachy, his beloved wife of sixty-two years; parents, Leo and Mildred Ford; brother, Melvin Ford; and sister, Kate Martin.

His memorial service will be at 2:00 PM on Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at University United Methodist Church. Reverend Charlie Langford will officiate. A gathering of friends and family will be at Johnson Funeral Home on Tuesday from 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM and continue at the church on Wednesday from 1:00 PM until the start of the service.

The family would like to thank everyone who took such wonderful care of Bill and showed him (and us) caring and kindness.

If they wish, friends may make memorial donations to the University United Methodist Church (UUMC) Day School, 3501 Patrick Street, Lake Charles, LA 70605.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Dear Pam and Peggy, I will always remember Mr. Ford as the first truly gentle man I ever knew. His patience and devotion as teacher of my 7th grade Sunday School class surely earned him more than a few stars in his crown.He was always prepared and he was always kind. His example of Christianity in action has stayed with me through all these many years. I trust that in Heaven he is now aware of the many ways he touched others in his time on this earth. Thank you for sharing your dear father with me. I am a life that was changed by his loving kindness.Diane Coe Thibodeaux

  2. Pam and Peggy, your dad was such a wonderful man…so kind. He made Ken and me feel like family when we were newly married and living in Lake Charles and our own families were so far away. I will never forget him and Beachy….both truly special people. We send our love.

  3. Thanks for sharing your dad with me this past year. It was such a pleasure to take care of him and to see your smiling faces. Even though I didn't know him for long The whole family has made an impact upon my life.

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