James Bentley Ford died on September 3rd, 2020, in Boise, Idaho at the age of 82. James is survived by his daughter, Rebecca Ford of Great Bend KS; granddaughter, Stephanie (Jake) Vogel of Elko, NV, three great-grandsons: Landon, Nolan, and Collin Vogel of Elko NV; two sisters, Margie Andrews of Forest, Virginia, and Cecil Harris of Rustburg VA; and several nieces and nephews.
James was born on June 9, 1938, in Bucyrus Ohio to Bently and Lillian Ford. After graduating from E.C. Glass High School in Lynchburg Virginia in 1956, Jim joined the Air Force where he embarked on a 20-year military career that took him around the world with his wife, Roberta, whom he married in Denver Colorado in 1964, and two children. In addition to tours of duty in Korea and Vietnam, Jim was stationed in Germany, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Torrejón Spain, and Mountain Home Idaho where he retired in 1976.
In 1977, Jim went to work for the Boise Interagency Fire Center as a small engine mechanic where he repaired chain saws, pumps, and other essential items that were needed for fighting wildfires. Sometimes described as "the best small engine mechanic in the Treasure Valley," Jim could diagnose and fix small engine problems that stumped many others. Jim was also a master carpenter and craftsman. A stickler for precision, detail, and doing things right, he showed his love and generosity for his family, friends, and community through the work of his hands, creating gorgeous cabinets, furniture, flag cases for the American Legion, and more. In his spare time, Jim enjoyed fishing, hunting, going to the mountains to get wood with his family, riding his motorcycle, spending time with the neighbors, playing games late into the night with friends, helping out with numerous American Legion activities, and functions, and tinkering in his shop.
In addition to his parents, Jim was preceded in death by his wife, Roberta Ford; son, Joseph Bentley Ford; grandson, Ethan Joseph Ford; and two sisters: Sally Brooks and Betty Ann Ford.
Jim will be interred alongside his wife, Roberta, at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery in Boise, Idaho. The family plans to have a simple burial service followed by Memorial Mass for family and friends to attend at a later date. Donations may be made in memory of James Ford to The American Legion Department of Idaho, 901 W. Warren Street, Boise, ID 83706-3825. Condolences may be sent to Rebecca Ford, 2922 16th Street, Great Bend KS 67530.
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