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Leo J. Ford IIIOctober 27, 2017
Leo James Ford III, age 57, passed away at his home in Chicago surrounded by his family on Oct. 27 after a heroic battle with cancer. Leo is survived by his loving wife of 26 years Ann Kettelson Ford and his sons Joseph and James. He leaves behind his four siblings: Mary Ford (Joseph Kendrick) of Minneapolis, Minn.; Anne Ford Gill (John) of New Market, Md.; Michael Ford (Carrie) of Shoreview, Minn.; and Grace Ford Kierna of Chicago; as well as many nieces and nephews.He was preceded in death by his parents Leo James Ford Jr. and Mary Catherine Hughes Ford of Janesville, Wis.;his father-in-law, Sheldon Kettelson; his mother-in-law, Frances Kettelson; his brother-in-law, Richard Kettelson; and his brother-in-law, Robert Kierna.
Leo grew up in Janesville and graduated from George S. Parker High School. He received a civil engineering degree from Marquette University in Milwaukee and later moved to Chicago where he would marry Ann.
Leo was a true Renaissance man who exuded warmth and charm. His career encompassed industrial construction, real estate, and acting. He was a member of the Second City National Touring Company and a member of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Radio and Television Artists. He was a talented cook, an expert wood craftsman and a skilled handyman. He loved architecture, art, and had a keen and eclectic appreciation of music. Center to his being, he was a father who coachedbasketball, baseball, chauffeured kids to sporting events, and packed lunches. Leo was a present parent.
His wife Ann would always say that Leo was her biggest cheerleader. Throughout her nursing, legal and corporate career, Leo was there to offer advice, sooth her mind, make dinner—and most importantly, make her laugh.
He inherited from his mother and father, the sense of friendship in volume—from high school and college friends to work colleagues, actors, comedians and the Laschets stammtisch team. During his battle with cancer, his friends would host two consecutiveLeopaloozas, a celebration of Leo’s life where friendship, music, and laughter took center stage.
For every person that Leo came in contact with, he left an indelible mark. He would light up a room, make the mundane funny and show genuine interest, kindness and respect to all.
A visitation will be held on Friday, November 3 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Cooney Funeral Home,3918 W. Irving Park Road, Chicago. Funeral mass will be held on Saturday, November 4 at 10:00a.m. at Queen of Angels Catholic Church,2330 W. Sunnyside Avenue, Chicago. Friends and family are asked to meet at the church. Interment is private. In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes donations to JDRF Illinois and Stand Up 2 Cancer.