Lillian Rogers Ford, 72, city teacher, volunteer

February 24, 2000|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

Lillian Rogers Ford, a retired city elementary school teacher and community volunteer, died Monday in her sleep of a heart ailment. She was 72 and lived on Elderon Avenue in Northwest Baltimore.

Before retiring about 18 years ago, she taught for 26 years at Charles Carroll of Carrollton Elementary School on Central Avenue in East Baltimore.

"She was an excellent teacher who was a leader here at the school," said Dorothy Bostic, a colleague at the school. "She was the person who could make math simple and understandable to our fifth- and sixth-graders."

Friends recalled her as a teacher who brought a positive, cheerful attitude to the classroom and transmitted that enthusiasm to her students.

The former Lillian Rogers was born in Clarkton, N.C., and reared in Wilmington, N.C. She was a graduate of Fayetteville State Teachers College, where she was valedictorian.

For many years she was a member of Heritage United Church of Christ, where she sang in the choir and was a deacon. She was also a member of its Soup and Sandwich Bible Study Group.

"She was an energetic, committed and creative person," said Dr. Anne Emery, a friend and fellow church member. "Whatever assignment she had, she did it well and with pleasure. She was a very bright and capable individual."

As part of her involvement in the church, she visited the Holy Land three times on Bible study tours and was baptized in the Jordan River.

She also sat on the board of ethics at Villa St. Michael, a Northwest Baltimore nursing and rehabilitation center.

"Lillian was someone we held dearly," said Jackie Jackson, the center's director of social work. "She didn't bite her tongue, and she gave compliments, too. She was a strong and dynamic force here."

She enjoyed flower gardening and kept a plot at her home. She was also a volunteer at the city's Cylburn Arboretum on Greenspring Avenue, where she helped maintain the flower beds.

She was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and sang in its chorale.

Her marriage to Theodore R. Dorsette ended in divorce. In 1970, she married Chester Ford Sr., a retired foreman for Blue Chip Automotive Co. He survives her.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. today at Heritage United Church of Christ, 3106 Liberty Heights Ave.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by a son, Chester Ford Jr. of Baltimore; two daughters, Cynthia Jones of Pacifica, Calif., and Joann Bryant of Baltimore; a brother, George Rogers of Conway, S.C.; a sister, Edna Farr of Brooklyn, N.Y.; and three grandsons.

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