Edith Marie Ford thumbnail

Edith Marie Ford

September 5, 1931 - August 15, 2021

Edith Marie (Gilliam) Ford, a gracious, meticulous, zany, frugal, elegant, generous, sassy, and devoutly Christian mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, friend, and caregiver, died peacefully in her home, just 21 days before her 90th birthday, on August 15, 2021.

Edith was born September 5, 1931, in Plainfield, Il…READ MORE

Edith Marie (Gilliam) Ford, a gracious, meticulous, zany, frugal, elegant, generous, sassy, and devoutly Christian mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, friend, and caregiver, died peacefully in her home, just 21 days before her 90th birthday, on August 15, 2021.

Edith was born September 5, 1931, in Plainfield, Illinois, to Harlan James Gilliam and Cassie (Frederick) Gilliam. Edith was the second of two children. Her brother, James Otis, was just a year and a half older. As a child, Edith spent much of her time with her grandparents on their farm in West Liberty, Kentucky, until she moved to Dunkirk, Indiana, in the mid-1940s. Edith and her family were forever changed by her brother James’ death in a motorcycle accident, in 1952.

After graduating Dunkirk High School, she worked at Craig Trucking in Albany, Indiana, where she met her beloved husband, Harold Robert (Bob) Ford. They were happily married for 39 years, before Bob’s death in 1996, at the age of 71. Together, they raised three children: Jay, Rob, and Julie.

Edith’s love of children was legendary.

Known as “Mimi” to all, she shared this love, laced with benevolent discipline, with over 75 children in her home daycare, from 1975 to 2008. Mimi cared for children as young as six months old, up to school age, even driving her older day care kids to activities. Forever having a singular spot in the hearts of the kids she cared for, Mimi delighted in knowing them into adulthood, attending their weddings and graduations.

As a mother, Edith created a tightly knit family, which she herself lacked as a child. Incredibly supportive of her children, she taught them independence. To this end, she believed firmly in the power of knowledge, giving her children money to splurge on school book fairs, and spending her hard-earned money on World Book encyclopedias, so they could look things up when they had questions.

Holidays were a sacred event in Edith’s home, and she loved spending them with her immediate family. Manners were essential to Mimi, and she was uncompromising in her values. Setting a gracious table was paramount, and one dared not disrupt this intention by setting something as uncouth as a can of beer on her carefully arranged layout, or someone launching a few olives across the room. Though she labored over the presentation, cooking wasn’t her strong suit. She could turn out a good cherry pie, and her dinner roll recipe is passed down to her grandson. But overall, her family prayed for packaged food when she was making their meals.

Her quick wit and understanding nature allowed her to tolerate the ups and downs of her own children’s antics. She let them be kids, telling them she would trust them until they gave her a reason not to. She taught them compassionate leadership through her own example. Edith was a longtime member of First Baptist Church in Muncie, Indiana, where she ensured her children’s attendance most Sundays, hoping to instill in them a strong foundation of Christian values. Though they often attended reluctantly, they learned, and mostly lived the life Edith had prayed for.

Laughter was essential to Mimi’s being. While proper etiquette was always a priority, she enjoyed a good prank, especially at Halloween, when she loved to dress herself and her creepy 3-foot doll in black and scare kids with her witch mask. Nothing could convince her that her adopted feral cat, Ishme, wasn’t a sweet animal, even though her entire family was afraid of it.

To be in Edith’s company was always fun. She loved to travel and take road trips, relishing her time behind the wheel. With friends, she enjoyed cruises to places ranging from Alaska to the Mediterranean. Far or near, she sought adventure. Her hair turned white when she was in her 30s, and since coloring it would have been frivolous, it became one of her trademarks, along with her endearing humor, charm, and wit.

Over the years, Edith served on many committees within the church, and she was active in volunteer work. She created her own community of mutually treasured friends and neighbors. Her dedication to her own mother (aka Mother) later in life was unparalleled, after having spent her early years separated from her. Her lonely childhood taught her the importance of keeping people close by showering them with loving care.

Edith’s family has eternal gratitude for all the devoted caregivers who made it possible for her to stay in her home, as she wished, until the day she transitioned into the arms of God. Your profound patience, kindness, and unwavering tenderness are sincerely appreciated. Penny, your care to the great caregiver will never be forgotten. Mom adored you and your pack of pugs. Knowing you were there with her at the end brings great comfort to us all. You were the angel we didn’t know we needed until we had you.

Edith is survived by her three children, Jay Bradley Ford (Sheri), Carmel, Indiana; James Robert (Rob) Ford (Debbie), Muncie, Indiana; and Julie Jo Temple (Loren), West End, North Carolina; her adored grandchildren, Natalie Suzanne (Ford) Corcoran; Trentin Temple; Tanner Temple; Taran Temple; Daisy Ford; Tyus Temple; Alyssa Goldfarb; Sarah Goldfarb; and Leslie (Jackson) Pannell; her beautiful great-grandchildren, Claire, Cooper, Harper, Zoey, Sawyer, Skylar, Cameron, Kayonna, Sofie, Harlee, and Jaxson; several nieces and nephews; her dear cousin, Ron Frederick, and many additional cousins.

Edith was preceded in death by her parents, her brother, and cousins.

Mimi leaves us all with an abundance of treasured memories, stories, and life lessons we can pass on to others, as she did.

Family and friends may call from 12:00 p.m.to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 21, 2021, at The Meeks Mortuary and Crematory, Washington Street Chapel, 415 E. Washington St., Muncie, Indiana, 47305.

A Memorial Service will begin at 2:00 p.m. Burial will follow at Union Cemetery, Eaton, Indiana.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Muncie Animal Shelter, 901 W. Riggin Rd., Muncie, Indiana, 47303.

The Meeks Mortuary and Crematory, Washington Street Chapel will oversee the arrangements; online condolences may be directed to the family at www.meeksmortuary.com.

Humor is a prelude to faith and laughter is the beginning of prayer.

Reinhold Niebuhr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HIDE

Service Information

Visitation Information

Date: Saturday, August 21, 2021

Time: 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

The Meeks Mortuary and Crematory, Washington Street Chapel

Address:

415 East Washington Street
Muncie, Indiana 47305


Service Information

Date: Saturday, August 21, 2021

Time: 2:00 pm

The Meeks Mortuary and Crematory, Washington Street Chapel

Address:

415 East Washington Street
Muncie, Indiana 47305


Cemetery Information

Date: Saturday, August 21, 2021

Union - Eaton Cemetery

Address:

16301 N. State Road 3 North
Eaton, IN


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