BAR HARBOR – Neal Edward Ford died Sunday morning, March 12, 2017, in Bar Harbor after a brief illness. He was born Feb. 11, 1935, in Ashville, the youngest son of Lyle and Louise (Small) Ford of Hancock.
Diagnosed early in life with retinitis pigmentosa, an incurable eye disease that results in a gradual decline in vision, Neal was determined to remain independent as long as possible. In his early years he worked as a planer at the woolen mill in Ellsworth. He later worked with his father at Ford Lobster Pound and Fish Co.
Neal moved to Bar Harbor in the mid-1980s after an accident required his leg be amputated above the knee. Neal got around town on a motorized scooter. Many will remember seeing him at the harbor and downtown Bar Harbor visiting with tourists and others needing directions and sightseeing advice. It gave him a silent chuckle to think that a man with poor vision would be giving sightseeing advice. He wanted to prove to others that he “could do things by himself” but he soon understood that allowing others to help him cross the street gave them pleasure. It was worth it to see their faces light up.
Neal was a longstanding Mason. He belonged to the Bar Harbor Masonic Lodge No. 185 and was a 50 year member of the Anah Shrine in Bangor.
Neal is survived by his brother C. Wesley Ford and wife, Bonnie, of Hancock; nephew Chad Ford and wife, Cherie, of Hancock; niece Kim Ford of Hancock; nephew Scot Ford of Sullivan; cousin Mort Havey and wife, Mary, of McKinney, Texas; and numerous great-nephews and nieces, and great-great nieces and nephews.
Neal believed he was fortunate to live in Bar Harbor, where the businesses and neighbors knew him and looked out for him. He was especially fortunate to have neighbors George and Linda Walton, without whose help he could not have lived alone and independently until just a few weeks before his death.
Graveside service at Ledgelawn Cemetery in Bar Harbor will be announced late spring. Neal was especially softhearted toward any child with a disability. Those who desire to make a donation in Neal’s memory may contribute to The Shriner Hospital for Children, 1404 Broadway, Bangor ME 04401.
Arrangements by Jordan-Fernald, 1139 Main St., Mount Desert. Condolences may be expressed at www.jordanfernald.com.