Gary Ford 1939 - 2004
Inducted 2002 Baseball, Curling, Football, Coach
As a youngster Gary developed a good eye at the plate and adeptness with his glove. He eventually played on the Gray Sox senior baseball team, which at that time was quite competitive. During the winter months Gary developed an interest in curling after watching the Fred Ford Rink (his dad, Roy, uncles Drex and John and grandfather Fred) have success and enjoy the game. Gary curled through high school and into his 20’s. Gary was also recruited to play football with the Rams (breaking his ankle while with them). He earned a tryout with the Saskatchewan Roughriders as a linebacker. This in part led him to a lifelong interest in the Riders and along with Anita was a season ticket holder for many years.
Through his curling activities Gary became interested in ice-making and worked in the Toronto area for a few winters. Others that joined in this Eastern swing were Don Lewis, Tom and Earl Kinvig, and Gary’s good friend Blayne Secord. Gary came close to winning Ontario while residing there one winter. Gary worked at Briers, Scott Tournament of Hearts at the Regina Curling Club, Tartan Curling Club and the Callie Curling Club for many years.
Gary’s curling success caught the attention of Bob Pickering, Garnet Campbell and Jack Keys and was invited to join them to play in four Briers (1968, 1969, 1970 and 1971) and was selected as All-Star Lead twice (in 1969 and 1970). Gary left the Pickering team in 1972, tried a couple of new teams in Regina and then formed a local team with Bob Lewis at third, Ron Lewis at second and cousin Glenn Ford at lead. This team had some success and got to the South “A” final in 1975. Gary also went to the South in 1980 with Larry Shostal, Dean Johnston and Glenn Ford. Gary retired from the ‘active’ part of the game due to his back and knees but continued to be involved in ice-making at Gray, cheering on his wife Anita and showing the great game to his two daughters (Atina and Cindy).
Gary was always one to initiate and organize activities. In the early 1970’s Gary, along with a few others, decided that the community should organize a recreational hockey team. Gary became the manager and coach for a few years as the Gray Golden Blades came to life. At this same time Gary was involved in helping to form the Estlin 306’s Women’s Fastball Team and coaching them for many years. One of the top players on the squad was Anita, who also had a lot of input into his coaching style. Gary and Anita went on to coach their daughters’ softball team and later they were all involved with the Riceton Blues, which became a wonderful “family” affair for a few summers!
Gary was always ready to volunteer and was involved at the rink, at the ball diamonds or at whatever was needed not only at Gray but other communities as well. He very much enjoyed spreading his brand of fun and practical jokes never ceased! Gary’s winters would always be full of curling, cash spiels, car spiels and playdowns.