In Memory of

Dr. Harold Ford

Full Name: Harold E. Ford
Date of Birth: September 25, 1947
Date of Death: January 20, 2020
January 25, 2020 - 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM - Brock United Methodist Church
Service Information:
January 26, 2020 - 1:00 PM - Brock United Methodist Church

Smithfield- Dr. Harold E. Ford, 72, of Geneseo and formerly of Canton, passed away at 8:10 AM Monday January 20, 2020 at Sunset Manor in Canton.

He was born September 25, 1947 at Canton, the son of Henry H. and Vera Maxine (Little) Ford. He married Arlene McCance on March 2, 1967 at Smithfield. She survives with one daughter, Kelly Glennon of Bement, 4 grandchildren, Elizabeth (Dane) Price, Aubrey Glennon, Natalie Ford Glennon, and Ian Glennon all of Bement, one great granddaughter, Harper Price, and one great grandson expected in February, three brothers, Lee (Linda) Ford of Smithfield, Henry Alan (Sue) Ford of Dunfermline, Robert (Cindy) Ford of Forrest, and one sister, Carolyn (Kenneth) English of Bushnell. He was preceded in death by his parents, and one sister, Jo Ann Bishop.

Harold received his bachelors and master’s degree from Western Illinois University. He later received his PhD from Illinois State University. He was an assistant superintendent for Canton and Geneseo Schools, and later served 13 years as Superintendent of Schools at Geneseo before retiring. After his retirement he served as an interim superintendent for several schools. He was the IASA president from 2002-2003, and was named Geneseoan of the Year. He loved to travel with his family and had visited all 50 states and several countries during his life. He loved reading, woodworking, hunting, and building homes with his good friend Jerry Haffner.

Services will be held at 1:00 PM Sunday at Brock United Methodist Church in Smithfield where visitation will be held Saturday from 2-4 PM. Pastor Ellen Dodd and Dean Reeverts will officiate. A celebration of life will be held in Geneseo in March. Memorial contributions may be made the Dr. Harold Ford Scholarship Fund for future educators. Condolences may be made at

From: Dr. Donald E. WeberJan 21 2020 5:01PM
Arlene and Family,

Mary Jo and I were sadden to learn on the passing of Harold today.  We came to know and respect Harold and you through our professional association with the Illinois Association of School Administrators.  In hearing the news today, we both recalled the numerous good times we shared along the "IASA trail" and the updates Harold and you would provide us on your family.  

Best wishes and our prayers are with you during this sullen period and may the Lord cup Harold in the palm of his hands and welcome him to his kingdom!

Don and Mary Jo Weber    
From: Ron and Carol JonesJan 21 2020 9:00PM
To Arlene and family:  We are so sad to loose our good friend Harold.  Harold was a man of great integrity, intelligence and a very good person.   We have been friends with Harold and Arlene for about 40 years and have had many good times.   Their first grandchild was like having one of our own.   We will miss him and send our love to Arlene.   Ron and Carol

From: Tom & Linda SteeleJan 21 2020 10:54PM
Linda and I will miss Harold. Everybody will. He was an extraordinary person. He possessed a wonderful mixture of love, ability, confidence, generosity, humor, and humility. Family meant the most to him, but he always had the time and the patience for everyone. Our home is filled with treasures created in his workshop. There is not a room in our home that is not touched by Harold’s skill and love. Our house has a number of improvements enhanced by Harold’s carpentry skills, and we know the homes of many others have been improved by Harold’s skills, too. We have wonderful memories of traveling with Harold and Arlene to Gettysburg, New York, Boston, Quebec, Vermont, and Peoria.  As a teacher, I came to see Harold as the quintessential educator. He enjoyed working with people and he constantly sought input. He willingly accepted ideas, which were critical of his own thinking; getting it right was more important for him than ego. He served in a variety of educational positions - teacher, business manager, assistant superintendent, superintendent, IASA president, interim superintendent, and district consolidation coordinator. Everyone knew Harold as a man of integrity who strove to elevate people through understanding and forgiveness. Harold always had a gentle soul. Thank you, Harold for coming into our lives.  

From: Jim MaynardJan 22 2020 6:53AM
Arlene and family. We are presently on a cruise so will not be able to be at the visitation. We were very sorry to hear of Harold’s passing. He was a great guy and will be missed by many. He touched many lives and will be remembered for all the good he brought to the one’s he touched.
From: Bonnie AgueJan 22 2020 8:32AM
Please accept my condolences to the family of Dr. Ford.  He was a true gentleman and someone whose leadership I respected during my time teaching in Geneseo.
From: Marc Coursey, Jerrie Walters & FamilyJan 22 2020 9:38AM
Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you during this difficult time.
From: Ted HamerJan 22 2020 11:06AM
My heart is filled with sadness from learning of the passing of Harold Ford. He was a great person and I really enjoyed knowing him. He did wonderful things for the Geneseo School District and the Geneseo community. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. He will be missed.
From: Dave & Rosanna WilsonJan 22 2020 11:54AM
My condolences to you and your family on Harold’s passing. Please know that I am thinking of you and the rest of your family at this time. We hope that the love of family and friends will comfort and strengthen you in the days ahead. I have great memories of working with Harold when I taught at Canton High School. His expert advice was very helpful to me as a new teacher. His kindness also extended to my personal projects as well. Great memories.
From: Linda VanDerLeestJan 22 2020 11:57AM
Arlene - my deepest sympathy to you and your entire family.  I will always remember Dr. Ford for his smile and tireless dedication to District 228.  He was a great superintendent and his legacy still remains in the practices of so many he hired, including me.  
From: Harvey and Nancy GreenJan 22 2020 12:13PM
We are so very saddened to hear of Harold's passing. The Green family extend our sympathies to the entire Ford family. We were both fortunate to work in education under the leadership and respect of Dr. Ford. He was a true asset and model for Geneseo and will be greatly missed.
From: Harvey and Nancy GreenJan 22 2020 12:20PM
We are so very sorry to read of Harold's passing. The Green family extends our sympathies to the entire Ford family.  We were so fortunate to both be able to work under Harold's leadership and respect in the field of education. Our daughter also benefited as a student from Harold's insight to
District 228. We pray for the family to allow your best memories to rise to the top.
From: Tim & Terri VandersnickJan 22 2020 1:29PM
So sad to hear about the passing of Harold he was a great man. I was fortunate to work with him for many years at the District office. He and Arlene were great neighbors and we will miss him lots. He gave such wisdom at times when you didn't know you were seeking it but later it always sank in and made perfect sense. District 228 was blessed to have Harold for so many years.Hugs and prayers to Arlene and the family please know we are thinking about you at this difficult time.
From: Kenton WolfeJan 22 2020 2:13PM
As a young teacher, I was fortunate and blessed to have worked for such a great man.  He made the Geneseo School District a welcome place to work and he showed respect for the all the teachers that worked for him.  I have always held him in my highest regards.  So sorry to hear of his passing.  His life touched so many people in a positive way and that is the true measure of a great man.  Many blessing to his family.
From: Ruth Ann EakerJan 22 2020 2:50PM
Arlene I wish I could be with you right now and put my arms around you with a big hug.  I am so terribly sorry at your loss of Harold.  I pray for you and your family as you go through this most difficult time,  Every time I saw Harold he was always so cheerful and full of life.  He always mentioned my son, Bill to me and always said what a fine teacher he was.  Give my love to your daughter and family and you will be in my thoughts and prayer.  May God bless..  
From: Ruth Ann EakerJan 22 2020 2:50PM
Arlene I wish I could be with you right now and put my arms around you with a big hug.  I am so terribly sorry at your loss of Harold.  I pray for you and your family as you go through this most difficult time,  Every time I saw Harold he was always so cheerful and full of life.  He always mentioned my son, Bill to me and always said what a fine teacher he was.  Give my love to your daughter and family and you will be in my thoughts and prayer.  May God bless..  
From: Joan and Tom CoxJan 22 2020 3:04PM
Arlene and family. I was saddened when I heard of Harold’s passing. Our many years working together was rewarding. I was privileged to work in such a great district and was fortunate to work with such great people. We are in Gulf Shores Al at this time, but hope to see you in March at his Memoral.
From: Dennis DiericxJan 23 2020 4:43PM
I was shocked to read of Dr. Ford's passing in the paper.  We are currently in Florida and will not be able to attend visitation.  It was a true privilege to have Dr. Ford as superintendent during my time as a  Football Coach/Teacher in Geneseo.  He was a man of great integrity, knowledge, and a great person.  My thoughts and prayers are with you and family during these difficult times.
From: Leesa Beecham Jan 23 2020 7:21PM
So saddened to hear of your loss and send my prayers to you and your family for comfort and love at this time. May God Bless you all.
From: Ken Williamson Jan 23 2020 11:28PM
Arlene and family,--- Diana and I were shocked and saddened on learning of Harold's passing.  We are so sorry for your loss.  Please know that you will be in our thoughts and prayers
    We have  highly valued  our relationship with Harold and you from the years together at Cuba High School  and up through our  years together  as teachers and school administrators in Illinois.  
     May God hold you and your family close to Himself as you go through this difficult time.  

Ken  and Diana Williamson
From: Joni and Ron Swanson Jan 24 2020 12:03AM
Dear Arlene and family,
Ron and I were so very shocked and saddened in seeing the announcement of our loss of this great educator, leader, colleague and family man., Harold Ford. The relationship that Harold and I enjoyed during my tenure in Geneseo was pivotal to the remainder of my career in education. I so appreciated the faith and trust that he put into his associates, leading through collaboration and conversation. He helped to reshape the district and set the community on the road to seeing our schools and their facilities as a reflection of ourselves and our values. I feel so honored to have known and worked with Harold, to have known you Arlene, and to know how much you both  supported  me and my family through some very tough times. I will always be grateful that Harold took a chance on me- and he was a great teacher, too!  Although this is a time of sorrow, let us rejoice for all of the good that Harold’s leadership brought to Geneseo and the state of Illinois. And let us give thanks that he was such a wonderful father and grandfather you and your family.  He made a difference. With much love, Joni and Ron Swanson
From: John CopeJan 24 2020 4:37AM
What wonderful times we had in London Liverpool and Stoke. Equally the many times we crossed the Pond to have unforgettable vacations with Harold and Arlene and the family traveling to Vegas, Arizona and Florida to name a few places.
Harold loved to visit his other "family" in England spending memorable times at Chatsworth, stately home in Cheshire, driving to the Cotswolds or visiting Wales! He especially loved his fish and chips at Harper's in Southport! We will all miss him so much such a special kind person especially to all the children. He was like a grandfather to Holly Chris and Will, a brother to me! We build gates,walls and chopped down trees together. We'll miss his humour and company and treasure all the occasions we could enjoy a simple cup of tea and reflect on all the great times we had together with Harold and Arlene!
From: Tony and Ginny SimonJan 24 2020 9:01AM
Dear Arlene and Family:

We are truly saddened at the passing of Harold, our friend and next door neighbor.  We will miss him immensely.  All we have now are memories but they are many and cherished.  We will never forget him. We will miss mostly his visits to our home and our many chats in the front yard where we would both talk endlessly about grandchildren, vacations and current events.  He would come to the front door unannounced, we of course would invite him in and we'd spend, it seems, hours talking about everything.  He was so intelligent and we especially enjoyed his wit and humor.  We would care for each other's yard when on vacation and he trusted us to look after his home when on an extended absence.  At least 20 years ago, he asked me I would take him up in my aircraft so he could take some pictures of one of the schools.  That was one my most enjoyable flights and I think that flight bonded us even closer.  He was a true gentleman, friend and neighbor who will forever be missed.  God Bless and be with the family.
From: Jane and Stuart CopelandJan 24 2020 9:22AM
We were shocked and saddened to hear that Harold had passed away. Harold and Arlene have been great friends of the family for over twenty years. We have  travelled extensively in N.America  with them, including parts of the East, South and West. Harold did the driving and was such a knowledgeable interesting guide. Harold and Arlene also stayed and travelled with us in England as well as going on cruises to Russia and the Mediterranean and also came over especially for Jamie and Clare's Wedding. Such fun times.Harold socialised so well with all ages. The grandchildren loved to see Arlene and Harold. Harold was very talented with his woodwork, hence we have many of his wooden gifts which are a constant reminder of him. We will always remember his kind, generous peronality and great sense of humour.
From: Don and Jane DolieslagerJan 24 2020 9:59AM
A great loss for everyone. He was such a special person,
He built our entertainment unit so we well always think of him and his great work.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time.
From: Linda WoodsJan 24 2020 10:18AM
My sincere condolences to your family. To Arlene and Kelly, I send my love and prayers. As a classmate and friend, Harold was the best. There have been so many good times. I cannot attend, but please know my thoughts are of you.
From: Kathy HellerJan 24 2020 11:25AM
I was saddened to learn of the passing of Harold Ford.  I read once that integrity is making sure that the things you say and the things you do are in alignment.  I always considered Dr. Ford to be a man of great integrity.  It was an honor to have worked for someone whose leadership I so admired and respected.  
From: Lucy and Geoff Chater Jan 24 2020 1:39PM
Arlene and family,
Sorry to hear of your sad loss. Through John we always enjoyed your visits to Stoke.
Harold took great interest in the cottage we were renovating in the Peak District and you stayed at our cottage in Grindon.
Harold was enthusiastic to visit Geoff's furniture workshop particularly with his love of wood. He will be missed by our wider family. It was a privilege to have known Harold.
From: Linda WoodsJan 24 2020 1:52PM
My sincere condolences to the entire family. To Arlene and Kelly, I send my love and prayers. Harold was a wonderful and fun classmate. He always had a smile and showed kindness to everyone. I will continue to keep you in my prayers. I am traveling and regret I can not be with you at this time.
From: Garrett DeakinJan 24 2020 2:16PM
We are so sadden to learn of Harold’s passing. He was a wonderful classmate who chose the admirable profession of education to make his mark on life. Think of the hundreds/thousands of classroom students he helped shape. At our 50th Cuba Alumni Association Banquet, it was Harold who moved to increase the annual scholarship to $1000. I applaud Harold’s life and career, and will miss his warm happy charm. Condolences to our classmate Arlene and family. I am pleased to contribute to Harold’s foundation.
From: Ed & Betty GeorgieffJan 24 2020 3:26PM
Sorry for your loss.  Ed & Betty Georgieff
From: Greg and Sally PattonJan 25 2020 11:25AM
Dear Arlene and Kelly,  We will always remember Harold and express our deepest sympathy on his loss. He had such a nice smile and warm personality. We appreciate the professional way he guided the Geneseo school district. Our prayers to all his family.
From: Mary and Randy TinderJan 25 2020 3:18PM
Dear Arlene,
Mary and I were so shocked and sad to learn of Harold's passing.  You two have been such good friends for so many years, going back to ISU days in the 80s.  We had so many good times as friends, colleagues and IASA Past Presidents!  We will miss Harold very much.  We hope that you and Kelly are doing as well as possible.  We had a nice chat with her.
Thinking of Harold will always bring a smile.  Deepest sympathy.  Mary and Randy Tinder
From: Linda WhiteJan 25 2020 3:41PM
Arlene and Kelly,

Our thoughts are with you and your family.  Harold always wanted the best for the Geneseo School District.  Harold showed our family so much understanding, kindness, and concern during a most difficult time in our lives.  We will never forget that.  Harold touched many lives during his lifetime.  We will be praying for comfort, strength, and healing for all of you.


Linda White
Mike and Lois Wigant
Norlaine Verschoore
Lana Vandemore
From: Lesa BehrendsJan 26 2020 2:54PM
Dr. Ford was a rare gem.  He was genuine/real.  He was a very good man.  So highly skilled at separating fact from opinion.  It was comforting to observe him help so many learn that skill, and help them move on in a positive way.
From: Tracey AndersJan 26 2020 6:04PM
Cindy and I are shocked to hear today of Harold's passing. Our sincere condolences to Arlene and family. I first met Harold when he came to Illini West High School in December of 2006 to be our Interim Superintendent. I was the new Board President for our newly started High School District which was to start in the fall of 2007. He bought our first Post Office box and I bought our first tape recorder and that is how Illini West started. We would not have been able to do it if it was not for Harold and all of his expertise. From that day forward every Superintendent that I would either meet or employ was or either will be measured to Dr. Harold Ford.  I will forever be grateful to him. I last saw  Harold when he and Arlene took Cindy and I out to eat for my fiftieth birthday. He was one of a kind and education as well as the world was a better place because of him. I glad that I knew him because I am better because of it. Thanks Harold
From: Beth & friendsFeb 2 2020 5:56PM
Our deepest sympathy Arlene. We will miss Sir Cinnamon Roll so so much. Sending you prayers, love & hugs. xxoo The Local Motive & Elizabeth Ann’s Kitchen

Leave condolence