Ron Harrison Ford was a respected basketball coach.
Ford died Sept. 29, 2012, of heart disease. He was 72.
He was born Feb. 27, 1940, in Philadelphia to Genevieve Turner Ford and James Harrison Ford.
Ford was educated in the Philadelphia public school system where he played basketball for Northeast and Edison High Schools. He went on to play at Cheyney University, where he received the distinction of being one of the best guards to play basketball at Cheyney. He played in the Baker League and after graduation, played briefly in the Eastern Professional Basketball League.
In 1993, he married Cristal Watkins. The couple had been co-workers and friends for many years at Overbrook High School.
Ford joined the Church Of The Advocate at an early age. In 1994, he became a member of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church. He was ordained a deacon under the pastorate of Rev. Albert F. Campbell on Nov. 7, 2003. He was a devoted member of the church’s Committee on College Assistance and the Men of Mt. Carmel where he gave his time and talents unselfishly.
He taught students and coached sports in the Philadelphia public school system, until his retirement in 2002.
He was the first African American to coach both junior and varsity basketball in the history of Overbrook High School. He dedicated many tireless hours of his time to make sure that his players, as well his students got the leadership, social and academic skills necessary to build character and determination to make it through life.
“He was the teacher, coach and disciplinarian that students, staff, parents and friends loved and respected. He was just a nice person,” his family said.
Ford also participated in and coached the St. Joseph’s University Summer Basketball Camp in Philadelphia, the International Summer Sports Camp in Stroudsburg and the International Sports Camps in Switzerland and France.
In addition to coaching basketball, he served as national director of Community Programs for the Pepsi-Cola Company and the local director of Community Service for O.I.C. Inc.
Ford was a member of many civic, educational and cultural organizations including Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.; Men of BACA; the NAACP; and the Wynnefield Residents Association. He received many awards and honors for his outstanding service to the community.
Ford was often seen sharing his wisdom and stories with the younger guys about sports and just life in general, from “back in the day.” He loved socializing with his friends and fraternity brothers.
Her was a role model for his stepson Cory and helped to instill in him the values of family, education and God.
In addition to his wife and stepson, Ford is survived by his brother, Robert Harrison Ford (California); long time special friends, Joanne and Ed Williams; and other relatives and friends.
Services will be held October 6 at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, 5732 Race Street. Viewing will be held at 9 a.m. Services will follow at 11 a.m. The Kappa service will be held at 10 a.m.
Wood Funeral Home handled the arrangements.