Obituary: Ethel Mae Ford

Posted at 7:23 AM, Sep 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-26 09:23:10-04

Ethel Mae Ford passed away peacefully in the early morning hours of September 21, 2018 at the age of 94.

She was born Ethel Mae Sales to Charles “Charlie” and Mary Abigail (Curtis) Sales near Belgrade, Montana.

Ethel was the oldest of four children. An intelligent child, she skipped the fourth grade and eventually graduated Valedictorian from Belgrade High School in 1941.

In Belgrade, she met a young man named Billy C. Ford. He pursued her relentlessly, and in the years that followed, would tell stories of chasing her up and down the gravel road in his Model A Ford. After two weeks of dating, they were married on April 25, 1942. They spent 57 wonderful years together until Billy’s death in 2009. Together they had two sons, Dean and Douglas.

Ethel worked for the Belgrade School System. Following that she was the secretary for the County Superintendent of Schools. She also worked as a clerk in the county treasurer’s office and later was elected as Gallatin County Treasurer. She retired in 1983 from the U.S. Soil Conservation Service.

She enjoyed playing pinochle with friends, planting petunias and tulips in her gardens, and traveling with Billy to all 50 states, Canada, Mexico, and several countries in Europe. Ethel had a soft spot for puppies, adored the color pink, and didn’t go to bed until she’d had her dark chocolate; but perhaps her biggest joy in life was being a mother, a grandmother, and a great-grandmother.

Ethel will be remembered for her poise and grace, her incredible intelligence, and for the love she had for her family.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, and her sister, Dorothy Gates. She is survived by her siblings, Bill Sales and Margaret Hudson; her two sons, Dean (Gail) Ford and Douglas Ford; her grandchildren, Richard Ford, Karen Ford, and Keely Ford (Donald) Holmes; and her five great-grandchildren, Shaun Bradstreet, Tyler Bradstreet, Brandon Bradstreet, Autumn Ford, and Madison Ford.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the charity of your choice.

Funeral services will be held at 10:00 A.M. at Dokken Nelson Funeral Service on Saturday, September 29, 2018, with interment at Sunset Hills Cemetery immediately following.

Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service.