North Andover - Atty. John Patrick (Jocko) Ford, 90, of North Andover, Mass., died Sunday, July 8, 2018, at the Sutton Hill Center in North Andover, surrounded by his loving family. He was born in Lawrence, Mass., on February 23, 1928, to the late James and Julia (Walsh) Ford.
After graduating from Lawrence High School in 1945, he entered the Navy (Spec 3rd Class) and was stationed in Guam for two years. With the G.I. Bill, he graduated with honors and was president of his class at Merrimack College in 1952. In August of 1952 he married Doris S. Stewart, RN and moved to Washington, D.C., to attend Georgetown University Law School. Upon graduation in 1955 he accepted a position as the Assistant (Professor) to the 'Dean' at the University of Notre Dame for one year and returned to the D.C. area to serve as a Motions Clerk for the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals - District of Columbia. In 1957, he and his wife Doris moved back to Lawrence, Mass. He then served as the Chief of Staff for the Honorable Mayor John J. Buckley for two years with the goal of establishing his own private law practice. While building his practice, John taught night classes in history and constitutional law at Merrimack College. He practiced law for over 50 years with 25 years as Ford & Ford, PC, with his son, Mark. He was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather with a strong commitment to his community and Catholic Faith. Organizations/agencies include: Lawrence Redevelopment Authority, Catholic Charities, Holy Family Men's Guild, President of Men of Merrimack College, President and Board Member of the former Lawrence Savings Bank. He and other community leaders were instrumental in the land purchase and construction of the Greater Lawrence Sanitary District, Greater Lawrence Technical High School (serving 20 years as a school committee member) and Austin Preparatory School. For several years, he negotiated contracts involving the Lawrence City Council and the Lawrence School Committee. He also had a great love of reading—history and politics. He was a member of the St. Patrick's Parish beginning as an altar boy in childhood. John has been described by so many to his family as a true gentleman.
He leaves behind his wife of 22 years, Claire Rischer; sister, Margaret Fallon; son, Michael and wife, Jeannie of Palm Coast, Florida; a daughter, Carolyn Ford of Salem, N.H.; and son, Mark and his wife, Donna and grandsons, Christopher, Matthew, Joseph all of North Andover, Mass., along with several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his first wife of 39 years, Doris (Stewart); his brother, James Ford; and sister, Mary Costello.
Family and friends are invited to calling hours on Thursday, July 12, 2018, from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Conte Funeral Home, 17 Third Street, North Andover, MA. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, July 13, 2018, at 11 a.m. in St. Patrick’s Church, 118 South Broadway, Lawrence, MA 01843. Burial will follow in Ridgewood Cemetery in North Andover, MA. For online condolences, please visit www.contefuneralhomes.com. Memorial contributions may be made to Lazarus House, 412 Hampshire St. (P.O. Box 408), Lawrence, MA 01841, or at Lazarushouse.org.
Published on  July 11, 2018