Toledo city councilman and former mayor John Marshall “Jack” Ford, who died Saturday morning, will be buried in his hometown of Springfield Tuesday.
Ford, 67, whose public service career spanned 50 years, died from complications related to kidney disease, according to Megan Vahey Casiere, who worked for Ford when he served as a state representative and throughout his time as mayor.
Ford was born and raised in Springfield. He was the first African-American man to serve as mayor of Toledo and Democratic leader in the Ohio House of Representatives, said Casiere.
“He was really a trailblazer in many respects,” she said.
Springfield Mayor Warren Copeland said their paths crossed several times after first meeting at the 2000 Democratic National Convention.
“He’s someone that Springfield can be proud to have as one of our sons,” said Copeland.
Ford was elected to the state House and rose to Democratic leader and held that position for three years until he ran for Toledo mayor in 2001, Casiere said. He was elected to the Toledo City Council in November 2013 and served until his death.
A service will be held on Sunday at Warren AME Church in Toledo. A public visitation will be held 3-6 p.m., and a presentation of commendations and remembrances will follow. The funeral service will be held at noon Monday, also at Warren AME Church.
In Springfield, a service will be held on Tuesday at St. John Missionary Baptist Church, 34 W. Pleasant St. Visitation will begin at 11 a.m. followed by a funeral service at noon. Interment services will immediately follow at Ferncliff Cemetery in Springfield. Members of the public are welcome to attend all services.
The family has asked that donations be sent in lieu of flowers to the Urban Minority Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Program of Toledo.
“It is with compassion that we remember Jack Ford passed away doing what he loved, serving the people of this great city,” said Ford’s successor, Toledo mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson, in a statement on Saturday. “In all his time as a public servant, John Jack Ford fought for equality, health care and access to the basic needs for our citizens.
“We give our hearts and our thoughts to his family and friends during his time.”