Stanley Gene Ford of Grand Rapids, Michigan, died early Monday, December 30, 2019 at Mercy Health Saint Mary's Hospital in Grand Rapids. His death was the result of a fall Sunday at his home in the Clark Retirement Community. He was 87. Born May 23, 1932 in Compton Township, Otter Tail, Minnesota, Stanley was the second child of John George Ford and the former Evelyn Elizabeth Powell. He grew up in Deerwood, MN, and graduated from Crosby-Ironton High School in Crosby, MN in 1950. Soon afterward, he joined friends enlisting in the U.S. Navy, starting his service in 1951. Stanley earned the Navy Good Conduct Medal and attained the rank of Aviation Boatswain's Mate third class, before being honorably discharged three years later. While attending the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis 1954-1956, Stanley met his future wife on a blind double date. She was a nursing student. Carolyn Oman and he were married August 18, 1956 in her hometown of Marquette, MI. The two had almost 58 years together, until her death in 2014. Stanley and Carolyn settled first in St. Cloud, MN, where he completed a bachelor of science degree in education and industrial arts at St. Cloud State College in 1961. His first job took them next to Whitehall, MI, and finally to Portage, MI. He taught in the public school system in Portage-in the elementary and middle schools-for 24 years, from 1963 until his retirement in 1987. Stanley also studied at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, and was just a few courses shy of a master's degree in 1970, when he quit to help care for his ailing father-in-law. Most summers in those early years were spent with his growing family, taking road trips and helping at various Bible camps in Upper and Lower Michigan. From 1965 to 1981, Stanley, who was a Red Cross-certified Water Safety Instructor, worked as life guard at Gitche Gumee Bible Camp in far-north Eagle River. He was known there as both Aquaman and Frogman for the black full-body wet suit he wore to protect himself against the cold waters of Lake Superior. For many years, Stanley also served on Gitche Gumee Bible Camp's board of directors, and as its treasurer. Back at Mapleview Baptist Church in Portage, he was a long-time coach of the Bible Quiz team that competed in the Southern Michigan General Association of Regular Baptist Churches. In 1996, Stanley and Carolyn bought a winter home in Arizona. They relocated to The Grand Canyon State less than two years later. The two lived most of the next 15 years at Quail Run Mobile Home Park in Apache Junction. There Stanley indulged his love of reading, swimming, and aviation, hiked and jeeped in the nearby Superstition Mountains, and busied himself in his well-equipped workshop. The couple also traveled extensively in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere. They returned to Michigan in 2013, to be closer to their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, whom he called "my favorite people." He has been a regular attender at Good News Baptist Church in Cutlerville since his return to Michigan. Stanley is survived by his: children Leslie Ford (Clyde Jr.) Burke, Daniel (Larry Christensen) Ford, and David (Diane) Ford; grandchildren Kara Ford (Jamie) Meyer, Joshua (Brittany) Ford, Holly Ford (Joshua) Monroe, Alyssa Ford (Chad) Kelker, Anna Ford (Samuel) Coats, Andrew Ford, and the recently adopted twins Levi and Logan Ford; great-grandchildren Arlee, Jeremiah, Lukas, Jacob, and Lauryn Meyer, Adilae, Juliana, and Tucker Ford, Abram, Calvin, and Ginny Monroe, and Malaki, Seth, and Paisley Kelker; siblings Shirley (Frank) Sayovitz, Dean (Karen) Ford, and Linda Ford Westvig; sisters-in-law Myra Neuhauser Ford, and Nancy Holmstrom; brother-in-law Eugene Menzel; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. Besides his wife, Stanley was preceded in death by his parents, brother and sister-in-law Robert and Marlys Ford, brothers Duane and Gordon Ford, sister Betty Ford Menzel, and sisters- and brothers-in-law Adeline and William Todd, Dorothy and Arthur Patrick, and William Holmstrom. Funeral arrangements are being handled by, and all events will be hosted at, Zaagman Memorial Chapel, 2800 Burton St. SE, Grand Rapids. Visitation will be from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Friday, January 3, 2020 and from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Saturday, January 4, 2020, at the funeral chapel. Services are scheduled for 11:00 a.m., January 4, 2020 and a lunch will follow the services. Burial will be at Fort Custer National Cemetery in Augusta, MI on Monday, January 6, 2020 with close family attending the military burial honors ceremony. Memorial contributions may be sent to Gitche Gumee Bible Camp, or to ABWE – Clay Center Project, Chiang Rai, Thailand, or to the Powell Family Scholarship.