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James "Jay"'s Story

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James "Jay" Ford, retired school teacher from Centerville, passed away Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, in Wichita, Kansas.
He is survived by his wife, Nancy; daughter, Joni McFarland (Shawn); son, Patrick Ford (Jodi); granddaughter, Nikki McFarland; grandson, Jared Ford; granddaughter, Madison Ford; great-grandson, Aidan Murphy; step-daughter, Kim Kloster (Edwin); brothers, David Ford (Marilyn), Greg Ford (Pam); sister, Elaine Werts; numerous nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by his first wife, Georgia Mae (Langhammer) Ford of 39 years; and his parents, Cecil and Coe Ford.
Jay graduated from Atlanta, Missouri High School, received his B.S. in Education from Northeast Missouri State (Truman University), in Kirksville, Missouri. He also received his Master's Degree in Education from Northeast Missouri State.
He taught History, Art, and Physical Education, and coached basketball in North Missouri and Southern Iowa. He spent the last 18 years of his career teaching elementary and middle school art in Centerville. Due to complications from Rheumatoid Arthritis, he retired in 1982.
Jay enjoyed basketball - both playing and coaching. He loved all sports, including fishing, and was proud to have nailed a hole-in-one in April 2006. Jay was an avid baseball fan, and very much enjoyed sharing his love of the St. Louis Cardinals with his family and friends. He also enjoyed reading and always had at least one book going. When his daughter bought the first Kindle reader, he soon followed.
Jay had a warm heart and was always for the underdog, the homeless, and those less fortunate. He was especially encouraging to his kids and grandchildren, always said "Do your best", and was very proud of them.
In 2000 he renewed a high school friendship with Nancy Christy Bertram Ford and in 2002 they married in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. They enjoyed the Wichita State basketball games, traveling by bus, and returning to Iowa to visit friends and family. Jay also maintained a cabin near Moberly, Missouri to be near his brothers and his favorite fishing spot.
Memorial has been established with "His Helping Hands" c/o Central Christian Church, 2900 N. Rock Rd., Wichita, KS 67226. A short graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017, at St. Mary's Cemetery, in Macon, Missouri, followed by a light lunch at the Comfort Inn in Macon. Share tributes online at: www.dlwichita.com.
Published on December 7, 2017
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