By Staff, May 10, 2013, Puget Sound Business Journal
Richard Ford, a Northwest native who rose to prominence as a port executive, attorney and civic leader, died May 5, according to Ford’s family. He was 83.
Ford was born in Seattle, grew up in Spokane and graduated from Washington State University, where he met his wife, Nancy Panchot.
The couple later moved to the Washington, D.C., area, where he earned a law degree from Georgetown University Law School and worked for the Treasury Department.
The Fords returned to Washington state in 1957, and Ford took a job with a county commissioners association in Olympia.
Four years later, he began a long career with Washington state’s public ports by becoming the first executive director of the Washington Public Ports Association. Ford joined the Port of Seattle in 1968, eventually becoming the agency’s general manager in 1977, a post he held for eight years.
Ford returned to law after leaving the port by becoming a partner at the Seattle law firm of Preston, Thorgrimson, Ellis and Holman, now known as K&L Gates.
He served on numerous boards and commissions, including the Washington State Transportation Commission.
Ford’s family has arranged a celebration of his life at 10 a.m. June 5 at the Bell Harbor Conference Center, 2211 Alaskan Way, on the downtown Seattle waterfront.