Richard Eldon Ford ’78 passed away peacefully after a 15-month struggle with glioblastoma on Friday, June 17, 2011, in San Jose. He was born in Oxnard, Calif., on June 5, 1956. During his active life, Ford, always known as "Rick," was a mortician and funeral director, real estate broker, attorney and accountant. When not engaged in his various professions, Ford obtained his private pilot license and flew a Beech Bonanza all over the West. He rode off-road motorcycles, loved to camp, explore, cook, whitewater raft and travel. A sense of adventure imbued Ford. There was nothing he didn’t do, and everything he did was done well. Ford was both a resident of San Jose and Cambria, where he and his wife, Donelle Morgan, had owned a beach house since 1998. They divided their time between their two homes as their professional lives allowed. From 2004 to 2007, Rick lived in Cambria full time, while Donelle commuted to the Bay area via their Bonanza. After graduation from Santa Clara University in 1978, Ford became employed by the Lima Family Mortuary in Santa Clara. With a degree in Mortuary Science from the San Francisco College of Mortuary Science, Valedictorian, Class of 1979, Rick became involved in all aspects of funeral home management and operation. During that time, Rick also obtained his real estate broker”s license and took classes at San Jose State to become an accountant. Eventually, his desire to improve himself lead to enrollment in Lincoln University Law School in 1987. He graduated magna cum laude in 1991 and joined the law firm of Atwood, Knox, Anderson, Uzzi & DiNapoli as an associate attorney. In 1994, shortly after becoming an associate of Olimpia, Whelan & Lively, Rick was admitted as a partner and did civil and family law litigation with gusto. Despite his success in the legal arena, or perhaps because of it, Rick took a break from the demands of the profession and resumed his prior employment in the funeral business and became a funeral director with Chapel of the Roses in Atascadero from 2004 to 2007—he considered himself semi-retired. Ever restless, in January 2008 Rick returned to his professional life in San Jose and joined the accountancy firm of McMahan Helfrick Thiercof & Butera to do litigation support. He used his family law certification and accounting background to great advantage. It was a job he loved. He used his considerable vacation time to travel with Donelle to England, New Zealand, Canada and Mexico, along with many weeks of camping and motorcycling in his beloved Southern Utah. Rick’s spirit, intelligence, and love for life were enormous. He will be greatly mourned. Rick is survived by his loving wife, Donelle Morgan.

08 Nov 2018