Ethel “Ruth” Ford, 100

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Ethel “Ruth” Ford

Ethel “Ruth” Ford, mother extraordinaire, died Sunday, March 3, 2024, exactly one month short of her 100th birthday.

She was born on April 3, 1924, in Latrobe, PA, the daughter of Joseph A. and Ethel (Hopkinson) Greaves, who had both emigrated from England, ultimately settling in Scio, OH.

She graduated from Jewett High School in 1942.

In December of that year, she married Lloyd Kenneth “Kenny” Ford of Minerva, OH, before he entered the U.S. Army for WWII, where he served as a paratrooper scout in the European theater, reaching the rank of Staff Sergeant.  At the age of 24, he lost his arm in a weapons training accident. Their third child was born while he was in the military hospital.

For several years after he left the service, they lived in Canton, OH and in 1957 moved to a farm in Washington Twnshp, Carroll County, where they raised their family. During this period, Ruth worked for several years at the Scio Pottery. They later resided in Mt. Victory, OH, until Kenneth’s death in March 2011, one month before his 87th birthday. They were very happily married for over 68 years.

In October 2012, Ruth moved into an independent living apartment at Copeland Oaks in Sebring, OH, where she remained until an illness late last summer necessitated changing her residence to Copeland’s Crandall Medical Center.

Ruth was a voracious reader and instilled in all her children a love of reading, an appreciation for libraries, and an understanding of the importance of education. She was not, unfortunately, as successful in teaching them her amazing skills as a seamstress or to be, as she was, a wunderkind with flower and vegetable gardens.

In her 40s, because of her own arthritis and, later, her husband’s colon cancer diagnosis – which he survived – Ruth became very interested in the health properties of food and long before it was generally popular followed a diet heavy on nuts, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and protein, omitting all red meat (although she’d still make her famous roast beef and Yorkshire pudding when asked) and excluding all dairy (with the notable exception of ice cream, which she greatly enjoyed). During summer visits, her grandchildren delighted in her fresh tomato sandwiches, home-grown broccoli (“so good even President Bush would like it”), and legendary berry jams.

Her super power was her ability to find and share four-leaf clovers from, seemingly, whatever lawn she stepped upon.

She wrote clever poetry and, by necessity alone, had a good sense of humor. Sometimes, seeing the ridiculousness of a situation, she would laugh until she cried. She liked to sing, and her station wagon full of kids was also always full of song. She loved to play cards and, even in her 90s, was tickled when she could brag of being the monthly euchre champ at Copeland. She was so very proud of the achievements of her family, however minor, and there was always room for another plate at her table or a bed in her home, no matter how many showed up at once. Her home was awash with both books and family photos.

She is survived by seven of her eight children, all graduates of Carrollton High School:  Kenne Ruth Hartong, class of ’61, of Carrollton; April Hoffman (Jim Powell), ’64, of Anchorage, AK; Barbara (Mike) Kenney, ’66, of South Portland, ME; Rebecca Mitchell, ’69, of St. Petersburg, FL; Leslie (Mark Delzell) Ford,’71, of Columbus; Jon Kenneth (Norma) Ford, ’72, of Colona, IL; and Casey K.C. Ford, ’74, of Carrollton. Her youngest son, Jack Kenneth Ford, died in 1959.

Twenty-two grandchildren, 30 great grandchildren, three great-great grandchildren and innumerable nieces and nephews survive her.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, son, a grandson (Matthew Hartong), two sons-in-law (Timothy Hartong and Robert Hoffman), and all her siblings and their spouses: Agnes (John) Peters, J.W. (Dorothy) Greaves, Charlotte Anguish, and Isobel (Frank) Galbraith, all of Scio; Bob Greaves of West Alexander, PA; Joseph (Florence) Greaves of Adena, OH; Colin (Rita) Hopkinson of Detroit, MI and Green Valley, AZ; Millicent “Penny” (Gene) Schrock of Livonia, MI; and Blanche “Bea” (Joe) Recchi of Lancaster, OH.

Her sisters-in-law, Frances (Charles) LeMasters Grau of Sarasota, FL; Dorothy (Richard) Bishop of Indianapolis, IN; Beverly (Fred) Scott of Minerva; and brother-in-law Edward “Huck” Ford of Minerva also passed before her, as did several of her nieces and nephews.

Dodds Funeral Home handled her cremation. Her ashes will be privately interred in Bethlehem Cemetery in Malvern, OH, alongside her husband and son.

A celebration of her life will be held later this spring. Persons wishing to make a donation in her memory should give to Reading is Fundamental ( or the Disabled Veterans of America (

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