Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Memorial Service for Delbert Ray "Butch" Ford

This morning we drove up to Placerville to attend a memorial service for Del Ford. It was held at the Placerville Church of the Nazarene. The service was at 11:00 am so we left home at 9:30 am thinking we would have plenty of time to get up there and not be rushed.

Well, first off the traffic was heavy getting across Madison Avenue. We turned south on Sunrise to get to Highway 50. The traffic came to a stand still at Gold River so we cut off on Gold River Drive and drove over to Hazel Avenue. Every car that got in front of us was taking its sweet old time getting down the road. We finally got to Highway 50 and the traffic was pretty light. Then when we exited off the freeway there was a big truck in front of us that slowed us down. It finally turned off at a business along the way. We got to the church about 10:20 am which was a good thing because before long the church started filling up.

Placerville Nazarene just built a new building. The worship center is not very big. The chairs were all filled, people were standing along the back and side walls. The foyer was full of people standing. There are two covered areas on one side of the worship center with wide doors that open up. People were standing out there.

I greeted Linda and she told me it was amazing how people had found out about Del's death. She saw our names in an email that was circulating and was glad that we knew. I wondered later if she might have seen the Guest Book attached to Del's obituary that the Sacramento Bee had online. I signed the guest book and that is how I found out when the service was going to be held. There was a notice in Saturday's Bee, however because I had the paper stopped while we were on our trip, I didn't see the notice. I did a search on the Bee's website on Monday to see if there was a notice.

Del touched so many lives including the students he taught in his special ed classes and their families. Len Nichols, a friend of Del and Linda's sat with us at lunch and I asked him exactly what happened. Del and Linda built a home on the outskirts of Placerville. The lot they built on was hilly and it had a deep, long slope to it. They built at the top of the slope. There was a deck that went out over the slope giving them a basement. Del finished off the basement and he had his wood working shop down there. Evidently some of the railing on the deck had to be replaced and he was working on that last Wednesday. He slipped and fell off of the deck unto some rocks. Linda had just come home and when she went out to see what happened, Del told her he thought he had broken his neck. She rushed into the house to call 911 and by the time the paramedics got there, Del was gone.

He was 65 years of age and had just retired in May from teaching. There wasn't anything he couldn't do and he loved working with wood and making things. He did all the new cabintery in the new Placerville church building. He had pastored for several years, drove truck for a while, did sales and then in the '90's he went back to school and got his master's in education and starting teaching special ed classes. He and Linda had been married for 44 years and have 2 adopted children, Shawn and Kristi. Kristi was adopted from Korea. Shawn has 3 children and Kristi has one.

We met Del and Linda when Denise and Shawn were in junior high school. Denise and Shawn "went together" for a brief period when they were in high school. Del taught our Sunday School class and we spent many enjoyable times of fellowship as a class and at their home. One of the times I remember is they were going to have a garage sale at their house. We and another couple decided to join them and we all had "our stuff" spread out all over their front yard. Somewhere there are pictures of Del and I relaxing in some lawn chairs as we waited for people to stop and look at all we had to sell.

The service was very nice and I don't think there were very many dry eyes in the room. He will be missed so very much by all that knew him and loved and appreciated him.

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