Dr. Stephen Paul Ford

Dr. Stephen Paul Ford, 69, of Laramie, WY died peacefully at his home on Tuesday, March 6, 2018.  He was born on October 11, 1948 in Palo Alto, California to Frank and Rosemary (Bonnot) Ford.

Stephen married Marsha Ann Pohl on September 12, 1970 in Salem, Oregon.

Stephen received his graduate degrees from West Virginia University and Oregon State University. Stephen spent most of his life in research. He was a professor of Animal Science and held the Rochelle Endowed Chair from 2001 until his death. He passed on his passion for research to his students over the years, and many went on to become well known researchers and renown professors.

He loved fishing and any activity that involved the outdoors. He also had a love of music and sharing it with everyone who visited.

Stephen is preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Rosemary Ford.

He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Marsha Ford of Laramie, Wyoming; his children, Tamara Ford and her fiancé Andrew Doria of Urbandale, Iowa; Joanna Neal and her husband David of Ann Arbor, Michigan; and Jessica Ford of Laramie, Wyoming. He is also survived by his grandchildren Mia, Morgan, Ethan, Nate, Gabriel, Emma, Isabel, and Aiden.

A celebration of Stephen’s Life will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, March 24, 2018 at Montgomery-Stryker Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Laramie and/or to Make A Wish Foundation.

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Condolences (48)

  • John Peluso

    Dear Marsha and Family, My sincere condolences on the passing of Steve. Steve was a true “fireball” whose light shined brightly from our early days together at WVU. Steve made the journal clubs interesting and exciting as he always had a strong opinion, which was usually correct. His fireball nature served him well throughout his long research career. Over the last few SSR meeting we would often find ourselves sitting alone sharing our past at WVU, which spanned over 40 years. He will be missed by all who knew him but his light will shine on through those who knew him. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time. With great sadness, John Peluso

  • Dale Martin

    Dear Ford Family- My sincere condolences. I had the pleasure of working with Steve in one capacity or another for nearly 20 years through his service on AAALAC International. He was the definition of a gentleman and a scholar. Sound intellect, common sense and a very sound moral compass coupled with his broad and deep expertise in animal science made him an extremely valuable resource for AAALAC International programs world-wide. He was a key participant in several of the most complex site visits to top programs in the US. When he talked, everyone listened. Very few gave AAALAC the credibility in assessing the research programs of agricultural programs as Steve did. I enjoyed his company immensely and will always remember him with a smile.

  • John Fred Odhiambo

    Dear Marsha and family, I and my family are really sorry for your loss, it is God who giveth and it is Him who taketh, blessed be his name (Job 1:21). Thank you very much for sharing with us his short life, we are all bound together by his love for his family and the extended academic family. I, Adel, Chris, Ashley and McKenna just feel very much as orphaned as your family. We were his last kids in school, we saw him go through the illness holding hope that he'll be back vibrant as ever; but no, God had His plans, He shared Dr. Ford with us for one more year. We have to be thankful for that. As we celebrate his life today, let's do it knowing that he's home and resting; and we will meet again. Fred Odhiambo.

  • Lane Christenson

    Dear Marsha and girls, Teresa and I remember all of the fun times we had at your place in the country. Steve was such a great mentor to me and so many others, his guidance has absolutely shaped who I am now and how I approach science. Our condolences to you all, Steve will be missed. Lane and Teresa

  • Walter Kowalewski

    Thank you for the opportunity to write a few words in honor of Steve. We first met in the 8th grade in Salem, Oregon. The friendship that formed was felt throughout these years even though we lost contact for a while. I remember a ritual performed every morning through high school where we sat across from each other in the cafeteria. No, we were not studying. It was an almost daily contest to determine who was best at arm wrestling. I never won. Steve never gloated. We were buddies. Interesting that I feel a tear as I write this.

  • Donna Farley

    It's been 2 weeks since Steve's passing and I am still quite sad of heart but reading all the tributes written by others seems to ease the pain. So I am adding my story of connection to SP Ford and family. We met in the late 70's when Dianna Van Orden invited Steve Ford, a new Animal Science faculty member at Iowa State University, to our lab in OB/GYN at the University of Iowa for a discussion of our common research interest, uterine blood flow. A few months later we mapped out our first collaborative experiment on a paper napkin at Uno Pizzeria in Chicago while attending scientific meetings in the city! Many years, many trips between Iowa City and Ames , many grad students, many pigs, cows, sheep, rats, and guinea pigs, many publications and talks were involved but the friendship and loyalty of Steve Ford was what made this collaboration so special to me. The fun times remembered include Steve's 40th surprise birthday party that Marsha planned which Dianna and I flew over to Ames to attend, St. Patrick's Day dinners at the Ford household, lab group gatherings on the Lake Mendota patio during an SSR meeting, shopping for soap stone statues in Canada during another meeting trip, touring the San Diego Zoo with grad students quizzing each other on reproduction in exotic animals, many lessons about shell fish cuisine, Steve's valiant efforts to quell my fear of snakes, Joanna's wedding in Ames and that father-of-the bride grin, Steve and family attending my 25th wedding anniversary party. As I remember the good times it helps with the pain as does the sharing with others. Let us continue the stories when we gather for the celebration of Steve's life this weekend.

  • Lorna Grindlay Moore

    Like all that knew Stephen, the news of his passing comes as a shock and with great sadness. I treasured my relationship w Steve -- not an especially close one as we did not work together, but we shared many interests. He was always a kind and responsive ear, looking out for the welfare of his students, maintaining scientific progress in his lab, and always a gentleman when interacting with others. His presence will be sorely missed.

  • Jun Ren

    Dear Marsha, I would like to express my deepest sorrow and condolence for your loss. Dr. Ford was my beloved colleague and friend who led me into the fetal programming field. We enjoyed our fun time in and out of work. His dedication to research and life touched upon many of us and I enjoyed working with Steve for the past 15 years here in Laramie. He will be deeply missed. My thoughts and prayer are with you and your family. Jun Ren

  • Mary Zelinski

    Dear Marsha and family, I am so sorry to hear this sad news, my prayers are with all of you, and may blessings of comfort surround you. Steve’s legacy lives on in so many, his contributions to reproductive science are immense, and he will always be part of those he influenced. Steve and Bill Pope were my big brothers when I was a rookie graduate student at Oregon State; they taught me everything I needed to know about sheep, life, and the universe, and how to become a professional practical joker. Steve was so good at giving you ‘the look’, you know the one, the nonverbal ‘prove it’ stare, which taught you to be up to the challenge for whatever he point he wanted to drive home. When I first met you, Marsha, on a family visit to Corvallis, my immediate thought was how did such a crabby guy ever get to marry such a gracious and kind woman! I quickly learned what a devoted husband, father and grandfather Steve was, and how he loved to talk about his family and all of your accomplishments and joys. I will always be grateful for Steve’s willingness to help plan our annual “Stormtrooper” reunion dinners at the SSR meetings where he regaled us with his stories from the past that had us all laughing until it hurt. It is truly an honor to have Steve in our lives, to have learned from him and laughed with him. Rest in peace, big brother, and go easy on the angels.

  • Don Jarvis

    Marsha and all, I am so sorry for your loss. As you know better than anyone, Steve was a gem. He was the consummate professional - hard working, deeply connected, collegial, and, most of all, a man with high standards. His students turned out well because Steve cared enough to make that happen. In addition, he was brave enough to take the steps needed to make that happen. I will miss him intensely. I will always remember the conversations we had as colleagues, commiserating over some academic or administrative issue or another. He always had great insight and always seemed to be able to succinctly wrap up our discussions with a wry comment and a twinkle in his eye. I'll always remember that twinkle...those who worked with Steve know it well...and I hope you know that memory will always make many of us smile.

  • Charles Rosenfeld

    I met Steve over 30yrs ago as a scientific competitor and "young" faculty studying similar aspects of uterine physiology. Over the years we spent many a moment, frequently with a beer in hand, discussing science and nonscience, we even shared a postdoc. In my mind, Steve was the consummate investigator, always honest, always a collaborator when needed, and always approachable. I know he touched many a life and will not be forgotten Our thoughts are with his family.

  • Fred Stormshak

    My sincere condolences to Marsha and family. I am honored and privileged to have served as mentor to Steve for his doctorate degree. He was an exceptional graduate student with an incredible work ethic, an attribute that he instilled in his students. Through his research endeavors he made significant contributions to our knowledge of the reproductive biology of domestic animals. During the tenure of his career we remained close friends and I will miss seeing him at scientific meetings.

  • Anonymous

    I am deeply grateful to everyone who posted condolences on this site. I know that many of you are also experiencing grief. You are also in Our prayers . We love you and thank you for sharing your thoughts with us..Marsha Ford and Family

  • Bill Pope

    Dear Marsha and family. Having just heard the news, my thoughts and prayers turn to you. The God who raises the dead can give you peace. Steve will surely be missed and time will heal some of your pain. What a full packed, fun, trail you two blazed together. Never a dull moment was there. When first joining Stormy's lab in 1976, Steve, the senior grad student, was kind yet challenging. He challenged my critical thinking and approach to a biological unknown and he challenged me on really important things like who could be first into the lab the morning. What very fond memories all. We will all miss him. You didn't know this but my daughter Stephanie was named after my admiration of Steve. Kristy and I extend our heartfelt condolences to you at this time.

  • Andrea Cupp

    Steve Ford will be missed as a great scientist and mentor to many. I interacted with him as a graduate student at a nearby University (Nebraska) through my friendship with Lane Christenson. Dr. Ford was also on our regional research group W112 and it was wonderful to interact with him there. His rigorous quest for the perfect experimental design, his ability to alter his scientific direction and evaluate more prenatal programming and his kindness and mentoring of young faculty at many different institutions (and at SSR) will be remembered and appreciated by many. Prayers and thoughts to his family. May your memories of him always sustain his legacy in your lives as he has in many of us in the scientific community. Andrea Cupp, Univ of Nebraska-Lincoln

  • Corey Schuknecht

    Dr. Ford was a great educator, scientist, and man. He and his class wasn't the easiest by no means and he made you work for everything you got! So thankful to had him as an adviser and gotten to know him and his wife on a personal level. If it wasn't for Dr. Ford I would not have been near the livestock man that I am today. He will be missed!

  • Xu Yan

    My sincere condolences to Dr Ford’s family. I studied at University of Wyoming , and Dr Ford was my co-supervisor. Dr Ford taught me a lot, both academically and personally. I still remember that Dr Ford was always there for the sheep surgery studies, in the early mornings. What a loss to the animal science field!

  • Betsy Browder

    Dear Marsha, I was sad to hear of Steve's passing and want you to know how very much I enjoyed spending time with the two of you at our aaalac council meetings when you were able to join us. He was a great mentor and a person from whom I learned so very much, and I will always be grateful that our paths crossed. Peace and comfort to you and your whole family! With condolences, love, and gratitude! Betsy Browder

  • Anonymous

    Steve will be missed by all who interacted with him at SSR. Condolences to all the family. Mary Lynn Johnson

  • Jack Rosazza

    Dear Marsha and family. I wanted to add my condolences on the loss of Steve a short time ago. Steve at Iowa State and his graduate student at the time lane Christensen, Diana Van Orden, Donna Farley and I all at the University of Iowa worked very closely on a wonderful project involving pine needle abortion in cattle. It was such a pleasure to see first hand the terrific work that Steve was doing, and to get to know him during the several years the project was ongoing. Steve was a wonderful person, excellent scientist and a pleasure to be around. Sending you all best wishes in remembering this fine man. Jack Rosazza

  • Carolyn Herman

    My sincere condolences to you Marsha and your family. Dr. Ford will truly be missed as a mentor and role model to many in his professional life. Personally I will always remember him as the best fisherman buddy a grandson could ever have. My prayers are with you.

  • Teri Schuknecht

    Dr. Ford was a great mentor and teacher for our son Corey Schuknecht, Corey always had a great deal of respect for him. Thank-you Dr Ford for being a part of his education in which he's carrying on today. May his family find peace and love from all those who new and respected him. Wayne and Teri Schuknecht

  • Jeff Wyatt

    Such a gentleman and caring AAALAC site visitor. I first met Steve at a very complex AAALAC site just before I joined Council on Accreditation. Steve taught me so much at that site visit including the value of listening and not rushing to judgment. I used the lessons learned from Steve throughout my subsequent 12 years serving on COA. Steve helped me be a better AAALAC site visitor, listener and advocate for animal welfare in science. I will miss his mentorship and smile.

  • Steve Stice

    Marsha and family; As a professor I have came to more fully appreciate what I think Steve loved most about mentoring graduate students. The research meant a lot but what I saw was his pure joy when his students went on and did well. I felt that every time we met and we talked about who is doing what now. I have lots of fond memories and great stories from my time in the Ford Laboratory. Steve's memory and guidance will stay with me always.

  • Anonymous

    Please accept my condolences and prayers for you as you grieve. As a faculty member in the College of Ag here, I only interacted with Dr. Ford a few times. But he was always kind and thoughtful in those interactions. Sincerely, Chris Bastian

  • Ron McLaughlin

    Dear Marsha and Family, I'm very sad to learn of Steve's passing. I worked with Steve in AAALAC as a BOT member and on the Accreditation Council for nearly 20 years all together. His broad and thorough animal science knowledge and extraordinary interpersonal skills were a great asset for AAALAC in becoming increasingly involved in the agricultural community. I enjoyed his company very much at Board and Council meetings, and during the site visits that we did together. Steve is on my list of genuinely very nice people.

  • Ron and Susie Magness

    Marsha, Tamara , Joanna and Jessie and their families. Susie and I are so saddened by the loss of Steve from our lives. Although we had an incredible scientific bond our friendships are as close as family. We watched each other's children grow up and kept tabs on the grandchildren too. I was Steve's first PhD student and he said on many occasions I was quite a challenge. He was my mentor, friend and role model for nearly 40 years. He inspired me and all of his numerous graduate students to think and question all avenues of scientific endeavors. He shared his passion for science, family and life with us all. His punctuality was legendary; I learned "the 10 min rule" from him.

  • Michelle Kutzler

    I met Steve during my PhD at Cornell with Peter Nathanielsz and continued research collaborations with him after becoming at faculty member at Oregon State University. Every day I walk by his picture hanging on the wall outside of the main office for the Department of Animal Sciences at Oregon State University. Steve will be greatly missed.

  • Min Du and Meijun Zhu

    Dear Marsha, Tammy, Joanna, and Jessica, we would like to express our sorrow regarding this heart-breaking news. Dr. Ford was our beloved and respected mentor. He was a driving inspiration for us moving forward. His passion and devotion to research, and his love and dedication to family touched many of us, and deeply affected our career as well as our daily lives. We enjoyed working with Dr. Ford as students, friends and colleagues. He will be forever missed with affection. Min and Meijun.

  • Mark Boggess, Ph.D.

    My sincere condolences to the family of Dr. Stephen Ford. I was a student at Iowa State when Dr. Ford was teaching Reproductive Physiology. His class was notoriously tough, but also well taught and very effective. I remember acing the final thinking I had no chance for an "A" in the class, but Dr. Ford surprised me with an precisely, because I had done so well on a very difficult final exam. That "A" was instrumental in my decision to attend graduate school and was not forgotten. Dr. Ford, made a positive impact on me and many others through his long and effective career and will be missed.

  • Lindsay S Galey

    Marsha my deepest sympathy to you and the girls. I wish I was able to be at the funeral on Saturday but I will be out of town. I will be in touch soon. Steven was such a wonderful man who loved life. The research world has lost a great man. You are in my prayers and thoughts. Much love, Lindsay Serrell Galey

  • Steve Washburn

    Marsha and family; I first met Steve when I was an undergraduate at WVU when he was there working on his Masters. We have been part of that WVU family for many years and I have admired his successful career. May you all find comfort in many treasured memories.

  • Anonymous

    Marsha and Family- My heart felt sympathy to you and your family. I have fond memories of your days in Morgantown and the visits after graduation. Steve was more then one of the leading scientist in the field of reproductive biology, he was passionate about people and life. He always took the high road in his relationship with family, friends and colleagues. All who ever knew him is saddened by this lost but have great memories as we go forward in life. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Paul E. Lewis

  • Alan Ealy

    My condolences. Steve and I have known each other for over 20 years. He always greeted me with a smile. We have had many great interactions over the years, and these interactions made a great impact on my research program, especially as I was starting out.

  • Viva Ma

    Dr Ford was a great mentor who used his own action and dedication to science to teach me and others. I cannot forget the joy he had when I was invited to Yale for postdoctoral research. I kept in touch with him after my graduation and invited him and Marsha to join my wedding last year. I did not know that he was fighting the illness. Rest In Peace. ..

  • Anonymous

    Steve and I probably had the longest interaction as both of us were at WVU as graduate students and have collaborated and challenged each other for over for 45 years. I sent Ron Magness and Larry Reynolds to Steve after they finished their M.S. with me, since I knew Steve could develop them further as young stallion scientists into top notch scientists. He proved me correct. Steve was very personable, dedicated to both family and science, and was an outstanding and competitive scientist. Yoshie and I personally enjoyed working with Steve the last six to eight years using the implants in cows, which verified our work on maternal recognition of pregnancy in the ewe. Steve knew how to party and relax from WVU and throughout his productive and brilliant career. Rest in peace Steve and I will meet up with you again in the near future. Charlie and Yoshie Weems

  • Les Anderson

    Dr. Ford was my Master's advisor. His impact on my life is impossible to express. He instilled his work ethic, his drive, his passion in all his students. With little doubt, he was the most impactful graduate instructor I have seen. He was a rare man and will be greatly missed. My condolences to Marsha and the girls.

  • Milan Shipka

    Nancy and I offer our condolences and express sorrow for the loss we all feel. Our hearts reach out to Marsha and the girls and their families. Steve was the most important mentor during my professional career. I owe much of the measure of success in my career to him. He taught me to do what I wanted to do and to do it well. He was also someone I considered to be a friend. I'm grateful to have had him as a mentor and friend. Milan

  • Rocio Melissa Rivera

    Dear Marsha and Family, I am very sorry to hear of Steve's passing. He is remembered well and with affection. His love for science, research and teaching is the reason I am in research and Academia today. Please accept my deepest condolences. May he rest in peace. Rocio Melissa Rivera

  • Sue Woirhaye

    Marsha and family~~I was so sorry to hear of Steve's passing. My deepest sympathies to you all.

  • Larry Reynolds

    Dr. Ford was my doctoral advisor and mentor for 38 years. He shaped, guided and directed me in my PhD program and was a trusted advisor and friend thereafter. He also was my colleague, and he did indeed pass on his passion for research to me! Steve was closer than a friend, he was family! Kay and I will miss him more than words can express!

  • Steven Mutua

    My condolences.Great man. Rest in Peace

  • Dan and JoAnn Rule

    We will always remember our days at Iowa State and the friendships we made. We will always appreciate how you and Steve welcomed us in your home. We will continue to be thankful for the time we had with you and Steve here at UW. Our thoughts and prayers are with you Marsha and to your family. Steve is up above watching over you all.

  • Anonymous

    Dan and I remember our days at Iowa State and how you and Steve welcomed us into your home. We continued to enjoy our friendship when you and Steve came to UW. Our thoughts and prayers are with you Marsha and to your family. Steve is above watching over you all.

  • Lloyd and JaNelle Anderson

    Dear Marsha, Tammy, Joanna, and Jessica, We are so sorry for the loss of your husband and father. Many good memories of your time in Iowa. The girls loved to come for a Snickers bar at the end of the day when you came to the office. Girls all grown up now and adults and having their own lives. We know you have many good memories of family time with Steve. Our sympathy to you all and wishing you peace and comfort in coming days. Steve was a valued colleague. Lloyd and JaNelle

  • Janet Burns

    Marsha My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Sending love. Janet Kronser Burns

  • Greg Brown

    A man's man and a very good, genuinely caring person who helped humanity in ways most of us will not know.

  • Anonymous

    My condolences! I am thinking of all of you! Dilnoza