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Columbia Missourian

Bernadine Ford remembered for her generosity, love of music

By Leah Beane
July 14, 2012 | 6:19 p.m. CDT
Bernadine Cole Ford, March 10, 1925 — July 13, 2012, of Columbia

COLUMBIA — A longtime teacher and musician, Bernadine Ford will be remembered for her generosity and kindness.

Bernadine (Cole) Ford of Columbia died Friday, July 13, 2012. She was 87.

Mrs. Ford was born in Warrensburg on March 10, 1925.

She received a master’s degree in mathematics, and taught at Excelsior Springs, the MU Laboratory School and Hickman High School.

She met Edmund Ford while they both taught at the MU Laboratory School, and the two married in 1949. The couple had three children, Carrie, Melissa and Ewing.

The family moved to Lagos, Nigeria in 1962 when Edmund Ford joined the U.S. Agency for International Development. The Fords returned to Columbia in 1968, and Mrs. Ford returned to teaching at Hickman.

In 1980, her husband received a Fulbright Scholarship, and the Fords lived in Thailand for a year. Mrs. Ford taught at Hickman High School until her retirement in 1986.

Mrs. Ford was a docent at the MU Museum of Art and Archaeology, contributed weekly to St. Francis House, and played music at Columbia Manor’s church services.

She was considered the "hostess with the mostest" by her friends, and her parties were memorable for her cooking and piano-playing.

She was a member of King’s Daughters, Pi Lambda Theta, Fortnightly Club, Missouri Retired Teachers Association, Missouri United Methodist Church and Church Circle.

Mrs. Ford is survived by her children; her sister, Joan Scarbrough; and many nieces and nephews.*

Her husband died earlier.

Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday at Parker Funeral Service, 22 North Tenth St. Services will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Missouri United Methodist Church, 204 South Ninth St.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri general fund, attention Buddy Pack Program, 2101 Vandiver Drive Columbia, MO 65202.

Condolences may be posted at

Supervising editor is Ted Hart.