Clarence Ford, OFM
1906 – 1975
Fr. Clarence was born in New York City on Jan. 28, 1906. He graduated from St. Joseph Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., in 1927 and entered the Province’s novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J.
He professed temporary vows in 1928 and solemn vows in 1931. Fr. Clarence was ordained a priest in 1934.
After receiving his master’s degree in education from Columbia University in New York, he served on the faculty of St. Bonaventure College in Allegany, N.Y. In 1942, Fr. Clarence requested permission to become a military chaplain.
He served in the Normandy, Rhineland and Ardennes campaigns, being awarded the Bronze Star for “courage, utter disregard for personal welfare and calmness under fire in military operations.”
After the war, Fr. Clarence returned to St. Bonaventure University to teach. During his years at Bona’s, he served as a professor of education, chairman of the department of education, alumni director, bookstore manager, infirmarian and postmaster.
In 1957, he became a promoter of Friar magazine. Ill health required him to discontinue teaching, and he accepted the position of postmaster at St. Bonaventure.
Fr. Clarence supervised the construction of the new post office building, which was completed in 1965. In 1966, he joined the staff of St. Anthony Guild in Paterson, N.J., where he modernized the guild’s mailing system.
Following a sixth heart attack in 1970, Fr. Clarence moved to the university’s provincial infirmary.
He died there Sept. 14, 1975. Fr. Clarence was 69 years old, a professed friar for 47 years and a priest for 41 years.