Obituary of Richard Welby Ford, Jr.
Richard W. Ford passed away after a brief illness on November 19, 2023, with his loving wife Debra at his side.
Born in Morristown, August 19, 1949, Rich was raised by parents Joan (VanNess) and Richard W. Ford, Sr. on his extended family’s farm, Orchard Hill, located on Jacksonville Road in Towaco. He attended Montville Township public schools and graduated from Boonton High School. As a young adult, he was a competitive artistic roller skater, as well as a drag racer at Raceway Park.
Rich worked for many years in various positions at area auto shops and dealerships. His volunteer work at the Rahway Rescue Squad led him to a second career as an EMT, and then as an instructor/trainer for Northern NJ Red Cross. He was also a long-time volunteer for Special Olympics NJ.
Married in October 1977 to Debra L. Brendler, the couple lived in Irvington and Rahway, eventually returning to their hometown of Towaco in 2001. There, they took up residence in the house hand-built by Deb’s parents 50 years earlier. Rich loved being back in the area in which he had grown up and near his many friends, but was always ready to camp with Deb in their trailer, especially when heading to Maine each fall.
Along with his wife of 46 years, Rich is survived by brothers John (Migdalia) of Florida and Bob (Carleen) of Montana; brothers-in-law Larry (Vicki nee Miller) Brendler of New Jersey and Andrew (Margaret Vetter) Brendler of New York; and many nieces and nephews. He also leaves behind his beloved dog, Tess.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 11am, Saturday, December 2, 2023 at the Boonton United Methodist Church (corner of Lathrop and Vreeland), followed by a repast. In lieu of flowers, please donate to Northern NJ Red Cross or Special Olympics NJ.