The Reverend Jim Ford left us on August 27, 2001. While he was, indeed, a Reverend, to the members of Club 1 he was The Preacher. Those of you who never met Jim will never know what you missed. For those who had that honor and privilege, life will never be the same. In his early seventies, Jim had a pleasant, laid back manner. But when he spoke, one always listened. Like many older men, he carried a little too much weight. Yet it fit his persona. He wore an air of dignity and gentility without any sense of self-importance. While we called him The Preacher, he never did, to any of us.
In fact, we would never have known about his life away from us if it weren't for others who told us. He never talked about that other life. It wasn't that he wasn't proud of it; it was just Jim's way. He didn't talk about himself. Instead, he listened to what others had to say.
As the time he joined us, he was the Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives and, before that, he had spent 15 years as a Chaplain at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
Jim truly flew for the fun of flying. Just getting off the ground was pure delight and amazement to him. He flew often and probably to more different airports than most of us.
In his own quiet way, without any apparent effort or particular statements, he was our preacher. Each day at the Airpark without Jim around will not be the same. His memory will always be there.