James W. Ford was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on July 10, 1941. He
graduated high school from Baltimore City College. He attended both
Baltimore Junior College and the University of Maryland. M:.W:.
served two years in the United States Army and was honorably
discharged with the rank of E-5. In 1975 he met the former Joy Hall
Sayre. They were married on March 21, 1983. Together they have four
children: James, Michael, David, and Tracey. They have seven
grandchildren: Michael David, Joseph Patrick, David Kevin, Ruby Alexys, Zackary Harold, James Wesley, and Zachary James.
Ford began his business career at an early age with the Southland
Corporation, 7-ELEVEN Food Stores. He held various management
positions in the Baltimore/Washington D.C. and Virginia areas. In
Ford transferred and relocated his family to Hillsborough County,
Florida, and in 1993 he retired with over thirty years of service.
Ford received the Three Symbolic Degrees of Freemasonry in Olin S.
Wright Lodge No. 79 on October 26, 1996. M:.W:.
Ford was appointed Junior Steward in January of 1997 and served as
Worshipful Master in 2001. He has served as District and Zone
Chairman of various Grand Lodge Committees from 2002 to 2005.
In 2006 M:.W:.
Robert D. Trump appointed M:.W:.
Ford as his District Deputy Grand Master for the 23rd
Masonic District. In 2007 he was appointed Grand Representative of
Illinois and served as Zone Chairman for the Lodge Assistance
Committee. He served as State Chairman for Masonic Education in 2008
and 2009. In 2010 he was appointed Senior Grand Deacon, served on
the Jurisprudence Committee, and the Board of Trustees for the
Masonic Home. As a Committee Member of the Board of Trustees he
served on the Masonic Home Budget and Activities Sub-Committees. M:.W:.Ford
is a member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Tampa, 32nd
Degree, KCCH; Egypt Shrine; Plant City Shrine Club; Past Masters
Units of both the Shrine and the Scottish Rite; Plant City Chapter
No. 16, Royal Arch Masons; Tyler Council No. 4, Royal and Select
Masters; Plant City Commandery No. 6, Knights Templar; KYCH, Florida
Priory No. 60; Pentagon York Rite College No. 62, Tampa; Mystic
Brotherhood Council No. 35, Knights Masons; The Royal Order of
Scotland; the Maxwell Clan of The Royal Order of Scotland; and
Zendah Grotto. M:.W:.
Ford is a member and Past Patron of Plant City Chapter No. 81, Order
of the Eastern Star. He has held various Grand Chapter Committee
positions, and has served as the Grand Representative to Arizona for
the Order of the Eastern Star.
On May 30,
Ford was elected Junior Grand Warden of The Most Worshipful Grand
Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Florida and
installed on June 1, 2011. On May 30, 2012, he was installed Senior
Grand Warden and shortly thereafter on August 21, 2012, his wife,
Joy, was diagnosed with lung cancer. She went through a series of
chemo and radiation treatments which, at first, seemed to work, but
later proved otherwise. She passed away on May 18, 2013, unable to
realize her dream of serving together with her husband as Grand
Master and First Lady. She loved her family and she loved the
Fraternity. She had many, many friends and will be missed by all.
much of his time to the Masonic Fraternity and Appendant Bodies.
Jim’s hobbies are traveling, fishing, golfing, and gardening. He is
a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan.