Paul Dean Ford

December 25, 1925 ~ June 2, 2022 (age 96)


Paul Dean Ford (West Terre Haute) passed away peacefully at his home, surrounded by loving family members, on the evening of June 2nd, 2022.


He was born on Christmas Day 1925 in Annapolis Illinois to James and Ruby (Smith) Ford, and grew up in rural Flat Rock, IL.  His younger siblings are James Ford, currently of Columbus OH and June Rose, currently of Princeton IN.  


Paul met the love of his life Eleanor Jean (Edwards) Ford of North Terre Haute on a blind date on April Fool's Day 1949.  They married December 17th, 1949 and remained wedded over seventy years before Eleanor passed away January 6th, 2020.  


Paul is survived by his six children: Arthur Douglas Ford (Debra), Margaret Ann Ford Miller, Mark Stephen Ford, Amy Susan Ford MacLennan (Michael Neary), John Andrew Ford (Tracy), and Peter Thomas Ford (Shannon).  Paul is also survived by numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren.  He is preceded in death by his first granddaughter, Eleanor Elizabeth Ford.


Paul was a self-made man who was deeply involved in all aspects of broadcast radio.  He began working in radio stations from his teenage years, and joined the Navy near the end of WWII.  Unsurprisingly he worked with radio communications there as well, and upon re-enlistment he worked on the East-Coast Geodetic Survey, among other tasks.  


Paul graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering from Rose Polytechnic Institute in 1951 and spent much of his life self-employed as a Professional Broadcast Engineering Consultant.  Through this consulting work he calculated all the technical details (optimum radio frequency, tower location, antenna height, transmitter power, signal coverage area, avoidance of interference with other stations, and so on) for many radio stations across the country.  He was well-known and respected for the accuracy of his work in this field, and often served as a technical liaison between radio station owners and the FCC.  In the early years, his calculations were all done on a slide rule. 


Among his interests beyond family and the broadcasting business, Paul was a Ham radio operator under the call sign SK W9KOJ.  As a personal challenge, he trained for and ran a full marathon when he was in his 50's.  He also had a passion for aviation; in the 1970's he earned VFR and IFR ratings and flew his Piper Cherokee 140 extensively.


In the 1960's Paul, with Eleanor's assistance, started and ran two radio stations of his own--WPFR 102.7 FM in Terre Haute IN and WKZI AM 800 in Casey IL. 


In the mid 1980's he and Eleanor began a new endeavor, Word Power Inc., a small conglomeration of local radio stations in the Wabash Valley that were dedicated to religious programming.  He and Eleanor became affectionately known for slurping their coffee on the air while hosting radio programs.  Paul's radio voice was especially unique and memorable, and his one-of-a-kind deep and jovial laugh always grabbed the attention of his listeners, who often recognized him out of a crowd in public places from just that laugh.


In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Hospice of Wabash Valley.  Visitation will be at Fitzpatrick Funeral Home, 220 North 3rd St., West Terre Haute, IN on Thursday, June 9, 2022 from 12:00 to 2:00 PM with the first half-hour reserved for family.  The graveside service will be private, with full military honors to be performed.


Paul Dean Ford signing off for the last time, over and out.


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June 9, 2022

12:30 PM to 2:00 PM
Fitzpatrick Funeral Home
220 North 3rd Street
West Terre Haute, IN 47885

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