American Veteran 01

James Edward Ford

March 13, 1948 ~ March 12, 2024 (age 75) 75 Years Old
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James Ford Obituary

James Edward Ford was born on March 13, 1948, in Toledo, OH to James Voil and Bernadette (nee Kahle) Ford. Shortly after his birth, Jim was commissioned as the eldest brother of 7 other siblings, a role that influenced the rest of his life. As the son of a truck driver, Jim took on a great deal of responsibility in raising his siblings and helping his mother. After graduating high school, Jim went to college and studied computer science before receiving an invitation from the Department of Defense to serve during the Vietnam era. Jim served as a sniper in the 101st Airborne-The Screaming Eagles- where he was awarded a Bronze Star and Commendation Medal.

Shortly before being sent to Vietnam Jim was introduced to his wife and love of his life, Karla, by his overheating car on a country road in Northern Indiana. Taking pity on him, Karla gave him a ride and her phone number, which by Karla’s account, took Jim months to follow up on. Jim and Karla were married in Hawaii on July 6th, 1970 while Jim served in Vietnam. After serving in Vietnam, Jim began working for IBM in the Chicago area. Jim and Karla bought a house in Arlington Heights and had 3 children. Jim worked hard to support and provide for his family. Jim loved muscle cars and motorcycles, which occupied his free time for most of his life. After working for IBM into the late 90s Jim pursued his passion for motorcycles by co-founding Darn Fine Trikes (DFT) which fabricated trikes from motorcycles.

Jim passed away on March 12, 2024, at Northwest Community Healthcare in Arlington Heights surrounded by his loving family. Jim is survived by his wife of 53 years Karla Kay Ford (nee Barger); his children Ryan (Ann) Ford, Shawn Ford and Kelly (Tim) Radke; his grandchildren Lily Ford, Fiona Ford, William Bryant and Hannah Radke; he is also survived by his siblings Tim (Eva) Ford, Joe Ford, Kate (Jim) Austin, Sharon Ford- Austermiller and Gail (Tom) Thompson. He was preceded in death by his parents as well as sister Carol Sgro.

Visitation: Wednesday, March 20, 2024, from 4:00 pm until 8:00 pm at Glueckert Funeral Home, Ltd., 1520 North Arlington Heights Road, Arlington Heights, IL. Funeral Services and interment will take place at Brown Cemetery in Bryan, Ohio on Saturday, March 23, 2024, at 10am. Arrangements in Ohio are being handled by the Grisier Funeral Home of Stryker.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Alpha-1 Foundation at

Funeral Information and condolences can be given at ((847) 253-0168) or at


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