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Dr. Thomas Swift Ford

Posted: Friday, Aug 16th, 2013

On Thursday, June 27, 2013, Dr. Thomas Swift Ford, local Watsonville dentist, passed away unexpectedly at his Aptos home with his wife Alice by his side.  He is survived by his wife of 58 years; his son, Timothy Swift Ford; his daughters, Carrie Ford, and Missy Erausquin and her husband, Rod.  Among other survivors are two sisters, Claire Franklin, and Lou Ray and her husband, Oliver; and numerous nieces and nephews. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, Florence Judson and Joseph Swift Ford, and brother-in-law Dr. William Franklin. 

Born on June 15, 1930, Tom grew up in Aromas where he received his primary education, and graduated from Watsonville High School in 1948.  He briefly attended Hartnell College before enlisting in the United States Air Force during the Korean War. Lieutenant Ford served four years as a radar observer on a F-89 Scorpion jet. 

In 1955, during his last year of service, he married Alice Spagopulos of Santa Cruz, his college sweetheart.  After his discharge from the Air Force, Tom earned a Bachelor of Science degree from San Jose State University.  Four years later, he completed his D.D.S. degree from College of Physicians and Surgeons in San Francisco.  In 1962, he and Alice moved to Watsonville and established his dental practice, retiring after 41 years. 

Dr. Ford was a member of the California Dental Association serving as a local consultant, a member and former president of The Monterey Bay Dental Society, and was also involved in establishing the Cabrillo College Dental Hygiene Program.

Tom had many interests.  He enjoyed travel, particularly houseboating on the Delta with his family, trips to Europe, and summertime camping in Northern California and Oregon.  As for sports, he was a life-time 49er football fan.  Fly fishing was his favorite hobby, taking him and his friends on many adventures throughout the Western half of the United States, Canada, Mexico and Alaska.  His life-long passion for aviation began at the age of 12 when a neighbor gave him a plane ride taking off from a meadow in the Aromas hills.  In his 40s, he owned a Republic Seabee airplane, and also spent many lunch hours at the Watsonville airport visiting with other enthusiastic flying devotees. After retirement in 2003, Tom enjoyed home life, reading fishing and flying magazines, staying current with the news, and took pleasure in the view from his patio.  He lived a very full life with his family and friends, and will  be greatly missed.

Those who wish to honor Dr. Ford may contribute to Hospice of Santa Cruz County, 940 Disc Drive, Scotts Valley, CA  95066, or any charity of your choice.  A future memorial is being planned.

For the complete article see the 08-17-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 08-17-2013 paper.

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