"I lived and I died."
James Robert "Jim" Ford, 70, of Findlay, Ohio died Wednesday, March 11, 2020 at the Cleveland Clinic, where he had been a patient since February 6. He was born in Fostoria, Ohio on March 20, 1949 to Robert and Lillian (Ringle) Ford Fuller, who preceded him in death.
He married Margaret Dwiggins on February 5, 2015, and she survives. Margaret was a loving person who was caring and giving throughout their life together. He is also survived by his son, Seth (Amelia) of Boston; grandson, Mason Ford and step-grandson, Jaden Hill. Jim loved his son with every fiber of his being and was so proud of his accomplishments. Also surviving are a brother, Terry (Mary Ann) Ford and sister, Virginia ("Cheech") Spaun (partner Rick Goshe), both of Fostoria; and former wife Susan Ford, who remained a friend and was always there to help during trying times. He is also survived by several nephews and nieces, and a group of cherished friends from Fostoria with whom he maintained lifelong friendships.
Jim was a 1967 graduate of Fostoria High School and a graduate of Mata College. He worked briefly for First National Bank (later Fifth Third Bank) and then the Findlay Publishing Co. as Manager of Information Technology, retiring after 43 years in 2015.
In 2009, Jim was the recipient of a double lung transplant at the Cleveland Clinic. He counted his blessings every day for this second chance at life. He met his donor family to thank them for their gift and continued a close relationship with them.
Jim volunteered for the boards of the former Arts Partnership, Open Arms and United Way of Hancock County. He was a member of St. Andrew's United Methodist Church, Findlay Elks B.P.O.E. #75 and the Fostoria Country Club.
He enjoyed sports, especially college football (OSU) and PGA golf. He loved playing golf, especially the competitiveness and camaraderie with the special group of guys he played with. He was proud of a hole-in-one scored in 2017.
Jim and his family are exceedingly grateful to the doctors at the Cleveland Clinic (particularly the staff in the Pulmonary Department), who helped him along his second-chance journey, as well as the many doctors and staff at Blanchard Valley Medical Associates who kept him going, including Drs. Fox, Cairns, Scarbrough, Gerschutz and Ranker.
Jim endured many serious health issues, especially these past several weeks, and he faced them with uncommon grace, courage and dignity. We, his family, are so very proud of him.
Jim was a generous man who supported a variety of charitable causes, and, in lieu of flowers, donations to charities of the donor's choice would have pleased him. Please also consider becoming an organ donor.
Visitation will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, March 15 at Kirkpatrick-Behnke Funeral Home, 500 Lima Avenue, Findlay, Ohio. A funeral service will be held the following day Monday, March 16, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. at the funeral home. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.kirkpatrickbehnke.com.