Robert Ford

Obituary of Robert Ford

It is with great sadness that his family announces the passing of Robert E. Ford of Ketchikan, Alaska, on December 30, 2017 in Tacoma, Washington. He was born December 25, 1945 in Kenmare, North Dakota.

As a small boy he lived for a time in a train depot where his father was an agent. This led to a lifelong love of trains; he would fondly recall the sound of steam engines roaring past the station. His family moved to Minot where he graduated from high school, joined the Navy, and worked as a Corpsman and a Pharmacy Tech.

He then returned to college and became a Medical Technologist, was married to Kathleen in 1972, and later received his medical degree from the University of North Dakota School of Medicine. He entered the Navy once again as an officer and completed his anesthesia residency in San Francisco. His Navy career took them to several areas of the country as well as to Naples, Italy for 3 years.

He retired from the Navy after 22 years and continued to work as an Anesthesiologist at Ketchikan Medical Center in Alaska for another 15 years. He was drawn to the sea after his time in the Navy, and he and Kathleen enjoyed many adventures exploring the beauty of Southeast Alaska on their boat.

He loved his family, valued his friends, laughed easily, enjoyed good food, took pleasure in traveling the world, was highly regarded by his colleagues in the medical profession – a life lived full and well. He would agree with Admiral Lord Mountbatten in saying, “I can’t think of a more wonderful thanksgiving for the life I have had than that everyone should be jolly at my funeral.”

He was preceded in death by his parents, his older brother Ray, and niece Ronetta. He is survived by his wife, Kathleen of Ketchikan, his sister Elaine, (Bob) Newman of Katy, Texas, and several nieces and nephews who he adored.

In his honor, a donation to First City Council on Cancer or to Ketchikan Hospice may be made. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. Online Guest Book at