NO. R-149.  House concurrent resolution honoring Marjorie M. Ford on the occasion of her centennial birthday.

(H.C.R.95)

Offered by:  Representatives Grad of Moretown and Donahue of Northfield.

Whereas, Marjorie Ford has resided in the Green Mountain State for the past century as a daughter, mother, grandmother, and most recently great‑grandmother, and

Whereas, she began her long life’s journey on April 28, 1903, residing with her parents Thomas and Belle McKenzie in Hinesburg, and

Whereas, her initial formal educational experience occurred in a two-room schoolhouse and progressed to the University of Vermont from which she graduated, and

Whereas, a love of learning strongly influenced her career choice to become a schoolteacher, and her first professional position was in North Troy, and

Whereas, after pursuing further studies at Columbia University, she relocated to Northfield, and, in 1927, married another educator, Norwich University instructor John Vincent Ford, to whom she was married for 44 years, and

Whereas, they had three children, James, a teacher, Donald, a radiologist, and Mona, who pursued a career as music teacher and later served as a Peace Corps volunteer, and today, Marjorie Ford is the grandmother of six grandchildren and the great‑grandmother of six great-grandchildren, and

Whereas, after raising her family, she returned to her pedagogic career, which she thoroughly enjoyed, and taught for many years at Northfield High School, and

Whereas, Marjorie Ford, a woman of deep religious conviction, and a long‑time member of St. John’s the Evangelist Church in Northfield, developed an abiding friendship with her local pastor, the future Bishop Robert Francis Joyce of the Burlington Diocese, and she was very proud of her service on the Women’s Committee of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington, and

Whereas, Marjorie Ford served the citizens of Northfield as a diligent public servant, not only as a teacher, but also in elected office, having sat on both the town’s board of civil authority and the local school board, and

Whereas, in Northfield, she became known by the name “Mrs. Democrat,” as she has been prominently involved in many Democratic campaigns, and

Whereas, former Representative Kathy Beyer of Moretown credited her own early success to Marjorie Ford’s guidance and assistance, and

Whereas, former Representative Alan Weiss of Northfield recognizes Marjorie Ford as a devoted mother, dedicated educator, and a Democratic Great Dame, and

Whereas, Representative Maxine Grad of Moretown recognizes Marjorie Ford as a continuing source of inspiration for her in her role as a state representative and is honored to represent her, and

Whereas, former Washington County Senator Mary Just Skinner has described Marjorie Ford as “the quintessential Vermont citizen, actively engaged in the issues, the political debate, and knowledgeable about the politicians and their positions, locally and nationally,” and

Whereas, Marjorie Ford’s involvement in Democratic politics has extended beyond the legislative districts in which she had long resided to the statewide level, and

Whereas, former governor Philip Hoff and his wife Joan who have known Marjorie Ford for over 40 years have stated “she was, and remains, one of the most caring and thoughtful individuals we have known,” noting “these qualities carried over to her political beliefs and activities,” and

Whereas, the Hoffs have further observed that Marjorie Ford “saw the Democratic Party as embodying the capacity of ordinary people to govern themselves and as the protector of the less fortunate in our society,” and “[f]rom these beliefs, she never wavered, no matter what the odds,” and

Whereas, former Governor Madeleine Kunin admires Marjorie Ford “as an outstanding Vermonter who loves politics – especially Democratic politics – and has been involved for many years at the grassroots level to keep democracy strong,” and

Whereas, former Governor Howard Dean has observed that “Marjorie

Ford’s dedication to her community now spans a century.  A century of giving and caring, a century of commitment to her community,” and

Whereas, he “wish[es] her a wonderful birthday and thank[s] her for inspiring generations of Vermonters,” and

Whereas, as she marks her centennial birthday, Marjorie Ford still avidly follows political events, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly extends the happiest of birthday wishes to Marjorie Ford and congratulates her on the special occasion of her one hundredth birthday, and be it further

Resolved:  That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Marjorie Ford in Northfield.