THOMAS EUGENE BRIGGS FORD, a 17 year old Ranger High
School student, was killed instantly at 5:10 p.m. Tuesday,
Feb. 16, 1960 when the car he was driving was struck by
a freight train on East Main street in Ranger, TX.
Tommy, the son of Emery Eugene and Ovella Ford, who lived
on Highway 80 East of Ranger, had just turned off Highway
80 onto East Main Street, on his way to an inter-school
basketball game practice at the Recreation Building, when
the freight train hit his 1955 Chevrolet. He was dead on
arrival at the Ranger
Thomas Ford was born in Alvin, TX, on May 5, 1942. He
moved to Ranger with his parents eight years later. He
was a member of the First Christian Church.
Ford was Co-Captain of the Ranger Bulldog football team,
and was a letter-man for three years. He was named to
the all-district and all-area teams last season.
The Ranger Lions Club presented him with the outstanding
letter-man trophy for 1959 at a football banquet recently,
at which he also served as master of ceremonies.
He was the Senior class president, a member of the Student
Council at Ranger High School. He had participated in the
Junior and Senior class plays.
He held the second to highest Scout rank, a Life Scout in
Explorer Post 16 of Ranger. He was an active leader in
school, club and church activities.
Survivors at the time of his death include the parents, Mr.
& Mrs. E.E. Ford, one sister Barbara A. (RHS-1963), and one
brother Emery E. Jr. (RHS-1967), both of the home. Maternal
grandparents, Mr. & Mrs. T. Y. Sunday of Iowa Colony, TX,
great-grandmothers, Mrs. George Sunday of Montgomery and
Mrs. M.M. Pouncey of Cleveland, TX.
Pallbearers were Jim Robinson, Richard Jolly, James Henry,
Charles White, Jerry Anderson, Homer Montgomery, Richard
Robie and Bobby Fron, with burial in the Forrest Park
Cemetery at Pearland near Houston.
Tommy Ford honored by classmates on 50th anniversary in 2010
Mike Herrington, Mac Jacoby, & Betty Koerner Gilbert
with granddaughter Melissa Myers.
Tommy Ford's graveside revisited in 2010
I wrote the original obituary/news story in our hometown paper
back in 1960. I also got to accompany family and pallbearers to
the burial site back then. On August 17, 2010, I found and
revisited Tommy's grave. His tombstone reads "Tommy B. Ford."
I think he was doing some wishful thinking years ago when he
told me his full name was Thomas Eugene Briggs Ford II. Eugene
is the name of both his dad and little brother. The cemetery
is now known as South Park and lies on North Main Street, more
or less, between Pearland and Alvin. Both Mr. & Mrs. Ford and
Emery, Jr. are buried beside Tommy & next to many of Mrs. Ford's
family, the Sundays, including Tommy's grandfather, Thomas Yancey
Sunday. Interestingly, the opening scenes from the movie "Urban
Cowboy", starring John Travolta, were filmed in South Park
Cemetery, not far from Tommy's grave site. Picture
Mike Herrington (RHS-1960)