Rodney L. Ford, 74, of Hopedale, Ohio passed away early on May 2, 2023. Rod was born on September 13, 1948 in Wheeling, West Virginia to John and Bettie Ford.
Rod is survived by his devoted wife of 53 years, Jeanne E. Ford. He is also survived by his two daughters, Erika (Eric) Whiting of Beavercreek, Ohio and Jessica (José) Ford-Mustre of Kansas City, Missouri. Rod also has two grandchildren, Alex Whiting and Piper Mustre-Ford.
Rod led an adventurous life that is hard to summarize as it took him across the United States and around the world. Rod served in the U.S. Army for 28 years. During his career, he was stationed in Korea, completed tours in Honduras, Germany, Turkey, and Italy, and was deployed during the Desert Storm War. In addition to other recognitions, Rod was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his service during the war.
Early in their marriage, Rod and Jeanne lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico. While stationed at Sandia Air Force Base, Rod found time to start a ceramics business with Jeanne. They named their cottage industry Heidi Paw Ceramics and sold handmade pottery influenced by the culture they saw around them in New Mexico.
Later, Rod and Jeanne moved to Jacksonville, Florida where Rod earned his MBA from the University of North Florida. By 1978, Rod and his family decided it was time to return to Ohio and put down roots outside of Hopedale, Ohio. Shortly thereafter, Rod founded Alternative Systems and worked with cast iron stoves and furnaces. Alternative Systems also provided old-fashioned chimney sweep services that his claustrophobic wife would rather not discuss.
Returning to active duty military, Rod was eventually assigned to bases around Ohio and Pennsylvania. Rod retired from the Army in 2003 and settled down in Northern Ohio. Rod and Jeanne spent many happy years enjoying Lake Erie and the Ohio coastline. Most recently, they lived on Johnson’s Island outside of Marblehead before returning full-time to Hopedale.
Rod’s interests were as varied as his life. He had an endless curiosity that saw him researching everything from junk DNA to the unexplainable goings-on at Skinwalker Ranch. He leaves behind a legacy of integrity, humor, and a take-charge attitude that both his daughters inherited.
Rod was preceded in death by his parents, John E. Ford and Bettie J. Ford, and his siblings, Karen Dowdell and John G. Ford.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Teramana Cancer Center TEAR Fund that supports cancer patients in need. Their address is 3204 Johnson Rd, Steubenville, OH 43952. Memorial services are pending.
The family is being assisted by Clark-Kirkland-Barr Funeral Home, Cadiz, Ohio. The memorial guestbook may be signed at www.clark-kirkland-barr.com.