Connor Thomas Ford, Lake Forest, CA/formerly Janesville, WI (1924-2013)
March 24, 1924 - September 7, 2013
Connor Thomas Ford, 89, of Lake Forest, CA, formerly of Janesville, passed away on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013, at his daughter's home in Lake Forest. Connor was born in Janesville, to Arthur and Marie (O'Connor) Ford on March 24, 1924. Janesville was home, but the family also spent considerable time visiting the O'Connor farm near Mosinee. There, Connor enjoyed exploring the surrounding woods with his cousins and doing his share of farm chores. In addition to his cousins, Connor made lifelong friends throughout his school years at St. Mary's School and Janesville High School. Following his 1942 graduation, Connor enrolled at Marquette University in Milwaukee, to study civil engineering. After one year at Marquette, Connor enlisted in the United States Navy, attained the rank of Chief Petty Officer, and was honorably discharged at the end of World War II. Next, Connor enrolled at UW-Madison, but his studies were again interrupted when his father suffered a serious stroke. Connor returned to Janesville, and assumed full management of his father's general construction business.
On May 17, 1952, Connor married Anne E. (“Betty”) Mullen of Janesville, at St. Mary's Catholic Church, Janesville. They soon welcomed Mary Anne, Kathleen, Margaret (1956-1958) and Tom. As a young husband and father, Connor was active in the Knights of Columbus, the Janesville Elks Club, and a barbershop quartet. In 1958, Connor's work led him to relocate the family to Whittier, CA, where two more daughters were born, Theresa and Helen. After many years working for others as a project estimator in commercial construction, Connor earned a General Contractor License and opened his own firm. This eventually allowed him to ease into retirement, a time when he and Anne increasingly indulged their loves of travel and music by visiting small town pubs in Ireland and following their favorite jazz bands to weekend festivals throughout California. By the time Anne passed away in 2007, Connor was himself in seriously declining health and in 2010, he moved from his home of 52 years to live with his oldest daughter.
Connor died leaving his children: Mary Anne Ford of Lake Forest, CA, Kathleen Ford of Orange, CA, Tom Ford of Oakland, CA, Theresa McKinley of Rancho Cucamonga, CA, and Helen Ford of Huntington Beach, CA; his son-in-law, Phil Dion; his daughter-in-law, Ellen Ford; his grandchildren: Monica, Barry and Kyle Moore and Connor Ford; and his great-granddaughter, Gissel Moore. In addition, Connor is survived by his sister, Kathryn Marchant; and his sister-in-law, Pat Mullen, both of Janesville; many nieces and nephews; and extended family and scores of friends in Wisconsin, California, Finland and Ireland. Connor was preceded in death by his wife of 55 years, Anne; and their daughter Margaret; his parents; his brother-in-law, Jim Marchant; his brother and sister-in-law, Jim and Vi Mullen; his brother-in-law, John Mullen; and his sister and brother-in-law, Genevieve and Ralph Coleman.
A Funeral Mass for Connor and Anne will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, at NATIVITY OF MARY CATHOLIC CHURCH, Janesville, with Fr. Dave Timmerman officiating. Burial will follow at ST. MARY'S CEMETERY, Milton. Visitation will be at the CHURCH on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, from 9:30 a.m. until the time of the service. Memorial donations may be made to America's Finest City Dixieland Jazz Society, P.O. Box 880387, San Diego, CA 92168 or to Nativity of Mary Parish Capital Improvement Fund, 313 E. Wall St, Janesville, WI, 53545. SCHNEIDER APFEL SCHNEIDER & SCHNEIDER FUNERAL HOME & CREMATORY is assisting the family.