It is our honor to celebrate the life and legacy of Mary Elizabeth Youngman Ford, of Amarillo, TX who passed away on October 20, 2019.
Memorial services will be at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, October 23, 2019, at St. Stephen United Methodist Church with Dr. Stan Cosby officiating. Burial will be private. Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 2800 Paramount Blvd.
Born in Enid, Oklahoma on November 26, 1935 to Marjorie and L.A. (Red) Youngman. Mary Beth and her family moved from Enid, Oklahoma to Edinburg, Texas where she attended Pan American University and earned her Bachelor degree in Education in 1956 and later would receive her Masters degree at West Texas A&M.
In 1955 Mary Beth met the love of her life Korda Van Ford at Sam Houston State College in Huntsville, Texas at a Future Teacher Association conference. In June of 1957 Mary Beth married her lifelong sweetheart of 62 years in Edinburg, Texas then moved to Amarillo, Texas where they would both begin their teaching careers and start a family of their own.
She is survived by her loving husband Korda Van Ford, daughter Vian Ford Elms and husband Paul Elms and her son Kory Ford all of Amarillo. Her four grandchildren Brooke Elms of Dillion, Colorado, Nicholas Elms of College Station, Texas, Kameron Ford of Allen, Texas and Luke Ford of Lubbock, Texas. Other survivors include her sister Evelyn and husband John Bryan from Lafayette, Louisiana, Byron and Benny Ford of Montrose, Colorado, Jim and Chestene Fullingim of Killeen, Texas and 7 nephews, 3 nieces and many great nieces and nephews.
Mary Beth left a legacy of being recognized as a “student’s professor.” Her dedication to education and the students of education has endured for 25 years. Mary Beth’s commitment to teaching began while she was in college when she served as a state officer in the Texas Student Education Association. She joined West Texas State University in 1972 as a consultant to student teachers and as an instructor in the College of Education. To her family and her students Mary Beth was such an inspiration. She believed in teaching and the rewards that it brought to so many. Mary Beth supplemented her love of teaching with her commitment to her family, community and church activities while serving on countless University committees.
She served on the WTAMU Advisory Board for College of Education and Social Science, WTAMU Professor of Education from 1972 to 2001. Inductee as Professor Emeritus Instructor of Education, received the University Excellence Award and served as a Director of Field Experiences Division of Education Alumni Association. A lifetime member with the WT Buffalo Club, Amarillo Area Foundation founder, Leadership WTSU, President of the Episcopal Church Women’s Organization, University Spirit Award, Faculty Excellence Award, Golden Apple Award Teacher of the Year of the Texas Student Education Association, Mortar Board twice named her Outstanding Faculty Member in the College of Education and of Social Sciences. Women’s Forum Distinguished Service Award. She was a member of Phi Delta Kappa, Amarillo Garden Club, Epicurean Gems, a gourmet chef club are a few other organizations that Mary Beth participated in.
Mary Beth and her husband Van have been members of St. Stephen’s Methodist Church, Wesley Workers Class, and longtime members at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.
These have been wonderful years for each of us. We have loved and been loved and will miss her dearly.
The family will receive friends from 6-7:00 p.m., Tuesday, October 22, 2019, at the funeral home.
The family respectfully requests memorials be made towards a scholarship that has been established at WTAMU on behalf of Mary Beth Ford.
The Mary Beth Ford Scholarship, WTAMU P.O. Box 60766, Canyon, Texas 79016.