Mary Elizabeth Youngman Ford

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.

10 Replies to “Mary Elizabeth Youngman Ford”

  1. Prayers for the Ford family. I always have fond memories of both Mrs. and Mr. Ford from Whittier Elementary School. God Bless .

  2. I’m so sorry to hear about the passing of Mary Beth. She was one of my favorite professors at WT. She always had a big heart for all of her students.

  3. My Deepest Sympathies to the Ford Family.
    Mrs. Mary Beth Ford was Well Respected by “Her Students”, by the Family of WT, and by the General Public that were Privileged to have Known Her.
    Mrs. Ford Helped my younger brother with his Student Teaching Assignment and Helped Him Obtain His First Teaching Job. Afterward She always Asked about Him.
    In 1984 Mrs. Mary Beth Ford Bragged on the Ladies of Coach Bob Schneider’s Lady Buff Basketball by Stating “These Ladies are of High Character, Good Citizens, Excellent Scholars, and They play a little basketball”
    This Brag is Long been Remembered because it was Stated by a Classy Lady, Who was Well Respected Herself.
    We of the Family of WT are Proud to Claim Mrs. Mary Beth Ford as One of Ours.
    It has been Requested to the University that the WT Flags be Flown at Half Staff on Wednesday in HONOR of Mrs. Mary Beth Ford.
    My Deepest Sympathies,
    Thomas Lee Musser
    WTSU Class of 1980
    Lubbock, Texas

  4. Mary Beth was one of my first friends when I came to teach sociology at WT in 1993. She was a good an influential person who will be missed. Prayers of comfort and peace for her family and loved ones.

  5. Mary Beth Ford was definitely my favorite teacher at WT. She had an infectious smile for everyone and you instantly liked her. She was a tough teacher because she cared so much and wanted each student to be well prepared to go into a classroom of their own. I was privileged to be part of her Sunday School Class later in life. I will miss her. Love to you. My life was blessed because I knew you! I am sure that infectious smile is back in the presence of Our Lord. Peace and comfort to Van and your family.

  6. I will be forever grateful for Mary Beth’s influence on my life as an educator. She led as she lived, was always cheerful, and imbued us students with a passion for teaching kids. When I remember her, I always picture her smile and her “can do” attitude. Truly a great in education and in life. God’s peace and comfort on her family.

  7. Thank you, Mrs. Ford, for instilling in me my love for reading. You were my first grade teacher and you were the best. To this day, whenever I start a new book or reread one of my favorites, I think of you.

  8. She was my favorite professor at WTSU. She made sure each one of us felt like we could do anything and she cared about all of us.

  9. Mary Beth was my inspiration to become a teacher. I’ve been doing it for 38 years now, and not a day goes by that I don’t think of some words of wisdom she gave me about this career. She was kind, funny, smart, and most importantly, she made every student in her classes feel as if he or she was the most important person in the room. The world is a better place because she was in it. Blessings to her family; she will be sorely missed.

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