Mary Louisa Ford

Mary Louisa Ford {span} {/span}

Mary Louisa Ford, a local Columbia portrait artist, interior decorator and gardening enthusiast, died Oct. 1, 2020, at the age of 69. Lisa is survived by her husband, Hamp Ford; brother “Flipper” Leslie Carson; son Joseph DeLong IV; and stepchildren Elizabeth (Jon) Wilson, Carol (Craig) Gschwend and Susan Robertson. She is also survived by her grandchildren Riley, Lindy, Benjamin, Abigail, Elizabeth, Caroline, Olivia and Alexis; great-grandson Kelsey; and best friend Marla Riley.

Lisa was born to “Flip” Forest and Virginia Carson on Dec. 2, 1950. She attended Southern Methodist University and graduated from William Woods University, later receiving her master’s degree in fine arts from MU. She married her ever-loving husband “Hamp” Wade Hampton Ford Jr. in August of 1983, and he was known throughout the years to believe she was a great help with his case work.

Lisa was a talented artist specializing in portrait and floral subject matter. She was an avid gardener and an incredible chef. Particularly imaginative and engaged in Halloween, she grew to be famous dressing up as the Hill Creek Acres wicked witch and flying through the trees on a harness with a microphone in full makeup to give the kids on the annual hayride a joyful surprise.

Lisa enjoyed tennis and riding horses, winning numerous competitions in her teen years. She volunteered at Cedar Creek Therapeutic Riding Center. She was a highly sought-after interior decorator, loved animals, was a colorful storyteller and legendary entertainer. She loved to get dressed up to the nines and throw parties but was equally at home digging in the dirt and fussing with her vegetables or redecorating. She was engaged with the Columbia Art League and served from time to time as an art instructor while her son, Joseph, attended Helias Catholic High School.

A memorial service will be held privately for the family at 11 a.m. Oct. 6, 2020, at Parker-Millard Funeral Service. A link will be posted to the funeral home’s website for public viewing of the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in her honor may be made to Cedar Creek Therapeutic Riding Center.

Lisa was restless and now she rests.

  • Molly Hart is an assistant city editor at the Missourian. She has previously reported on state government. She can be reached at

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