Mary Helen Ford, 1934-2020

Mary Helen Ford, 85, of New Carlisle, IN, passed away at 2:17 p.m. Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at Memorial Hospital in South Bend, IN.

Mary was born on December 22, 1934 in South Bend, IN to the late John Wilson and Elva Alberta Anderson, and lived in New Carlisle since 1947, coming from Bertrand Township MI. Along with her parents; she was preceded in death by her husband, James Henry “Hank” Ford; two sons, Gregory Lee Ford; James Henry Ford, Jr.; two sisters, Nancy Barnes; Shirley Anderson; and two brothers, Michael and James Anderson.

On March 30, 1957, as Mary Helen Anderson, she married the love of her life, James Henry “Hank” Ford at the New Carlisle Community Christian Church. The couple was married for 62 years prior to Henry’s passing on February 13, 2019.

Mary is survived by her daughter, Juilann Ford of New Carlisle, IN; two grandchildren, Kelly Ford of Madison, WI; Greg Ford of South Bend, IN; one great grandson, Cameron James Ford of South Bend, IN; two sisters, Rosella Dundore of Kalamazoo, MI; Patricia Showalter of Haysville, KS; three brothers, Robert Anderson of New Carlisle, IN; John (Deedee) Anderson of Peachtree City, GA; William (Laura Plonka) Anderson of South Bend, IN; and many nieces and nephews.

Mary’s passion for helping others led her to the medical field where she worked as a Qualified Medication Aide and Home Health Aide for Hamilton Retirement Community, the Visiting Nurses of St. Joseph County, and in private care. She was dedicated to her job and had a compassionate heart. She had great respect and care for her patients. She helped so many patients and families. She retired from Hamilton Retirement Community in 1995. Retirement found her taking care of her aging parents with that same compassion and love.

Mary was a member of the New Carlisle Community Christian Church, where she was actively involved in the Women’s Group where the ladies spent many a Wednesday afternoon quilting and making more batches of Peanut Brittle that any of them could count to raise money. She helped establish the Community Food Pantry at the Church, working as a volunteer for years. She was also a member of the Questers Club #1451 Wills Plum Grove in LaPorte County, IN, a group sharing her love of antiques and collecting. Mary was Den Mother for her son Jim’s Boy Scout troop back in the 1960’s and was active as a 4-H Leader in Olive Township in the 1970’s. She loved to refinish furniture, garden, sew and do crafts. She spent her late summers and falls canning and freezing all the produce from the garden her husband Henry so lovingly tended. Mary’s grandson described her the best stating “Grandma was beautiful, inside and out.” She liked nothing more than spending time with family. She was an amazing wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister and friend.

Visitation was held from 5-8 p.m. Monday, September 14, 2020 at Kaniewski Funeral Home, 201 S. Filbert Street, New Carlisle, IN and from 10-11 a.m. Tuesday, September 15, 2020 at the New Carlisle Community Christian Church, 201 W. Michigan Street, New Carlisle, IN 46552.

Funeral Services were held at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, September 15, 2020 at the New Carlisle Community Christian Church, with Pastor Mary Eileen Spence officiating. Burial followed in New Carlisle Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to: New Carlisle Community Christian Church Brick Restoration Project, P.O. Box 155, New Carlisle, IN 46552.

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