Mary  Ford

Mary Margaret (Mimi) Ford (Smith)

Monday, December 14th, 1931 - Monday, June 22nd, 2020
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Mary Margaret Ford, known as Mimi to all, died peacefully at home surrounded by many of her family on June 22, 2020. She was 88 (and a half, as she would let you know).

Mimi was born in Elko, Nevada (Nevaada, not Nevahda - that is for you Mimi) on December 14, 1931. She was the only child of Grant and Dorothy (Middleton) Smith. Mimi attended schools in Nevada, California, and Japan, where she graduated from the Tokyo American School in 1949. Mimi loved her year in Japan and her appreciation for travel, adventure and other cultures was born here.

After high school, Mimi returned to Nevada where she attended the University of Nevada at Reno. At UNR Mimi majored in Education and met her sweetheart, Boyce Lamar Ford. 1953 was a big year for Mimi. She graduated from college and she and Boyce were married, beginning a 43-year partnership and friendship.

After Mimi and Boyce were married, they lived in Nevada and California, where Mimi began her lifelong career as a teacher. In 1955, son Duane was born, and daughter KC was born in 1957. In 1963, Boyce decided to take the plunge to go back to school, and Mimi with her travel bug and sense of adventure agreed to move to Ithaca, New York.

Mimi loved Ithaca. Her teaching job was fulfilling and summers off were family adventure time. Mimi and Boyce would pack up the station wagon, put the canoe on top, the pop-up camper in tow, kids in the back seat, and head out for weeks at a time. There were multiple cross-country trips to visit family on the west coast, or up to the Canadian Maritimes. Each trip was bonding and memorable.

In 1971, Boyce finished his doctoral work and accepted a position at Plymouth State College in Plymouth, New Hampshire. Mimi taught at Plymouth Elementary School until her retirement in 1992. Their home in Rumney was an old farm, and over the years they brought it back to life, renovating the house, planting flower and vegetable gardens and bringing countless sheep, horses, dogs, cats and a few goats into the mix. Ford Farm was brimming with life. Mimi never lost her appreciation for her home and her view. She always felt so fortunate to live for 49 years in a beautiful place. She felt blessed.

Mimi’s commitment to community and service ran deep. She was involved in many local organizations and willingly gave freely of her time, heart and energy. She received numerous awards for her service which she accepted gratefully, but thought others were more deserving. She was humble to a fault.

Music fed Mimi’s soul, and over the years she was a member of various singing groups. Two of these groups, the Pemigewasset Choral Society, and the New Hampshire Friendship Chorus, traveled internationally. Travelling with these groups, as well as with other trips, took Mimi to 5 continents and over 20 countries. She never lost her travel bug and even an area drive in the car towards the end of her life brought her great joy.

In the mid-1990s, Mimi’s love of singing led her to the choir at Starr King Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. A few years later, she joined the fellowship and she found a place where she could give of her time, heart, spirit, and talent. Until the end of Mimi’s life, this community supported and loved her. She, in return, loved them dearly.

Above all, family meant the most to Mimi. Mimi was a proud and loyal wife, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She was a constant supporter, attending her children and grandchildren’s sporting events, concerts, and grandparent’s days. When asked to share their thoughts about their grandmother, each of her grandchildren shared the following:

“When I think about Mimi, I immediately think about the things that she loved, and she loved so many things! She loved her family, helping her community, reading mysteries, traveling, playing bridge with her friends, and looking at the beautiful mountain from her kitchen window.”
“My siblings and I have always been tough and competitive. I never knew where it came from until this past year and I realized it was from Mimi all along.”
“Mimi was so supportive of her grandchildren. She had lots of thoughtful questions, as well as observations, and she always showed a great interest in my life. She was a Grandmother full of love for her family.”
“Mimi’s spirit was contagious, and her heart was big and kind. She cared so much about the people around her, her community and giving back. She set an example for how life should be lived!”
“Mimi lived a full life, a life where her family, the community, and people in need were always her top priority. Whether she was on the sidelines of my football game, working at the community closet, or delivering food, Mimi moved through life with love, care, respect, and leadership. She was a leader in the community who helped and influenced countless lives. Because of Mimi, I’ve learned that truly caring for others, and going out of your way to help people who need help, makes for a FULL life…”
"Mimi was loyal, strong, and confident. She passed these qualities to those closest to her. The values I hold and the close-knit family the Fords are is because of Mimi’s love and guidance. I thank Mimi for coming to all my games, her beautifully written birthday cards, sharing books and meals, for teaching me what it is to hold strong to one’s beliefs, what it means to be a servant leader, and that is our human responsibility to do what is right and good. Most of all, I will miss my chats with Mimi around her kitchen table, looking over rattlesnake rocks; the most beautiful view in the world."

Mimi will be deeply missed by each of her grandchildren, Mattie (Ford) DiNapoli and husband Vinnie and their children Emerson and Rocco, Willie Ford and partner Caroline Nurse, Peter Hammond and fiance Caitlin Allen, Mollie Hammond and partner Alex Barton, Julia Ford and partner Hal Gartner, and Lily Ford and partner Sean Fitzgerald.

Mimi also will be missed by daughter KC Ford and husband Matthew Russ, son Duane and wife Lori (Woodworth) Ford, dear friend Robert Miller, and many wonderful friends in the community and beyond. Her husband and best friend Boyce passed away in 1996.

Mimi’s family would like to thank the nurses and therapists at Lakes Region Visiting Nurse Association for their loving and kind care. During these pandemic times, they all are superheroes and made Mimi’s last 3 months better.

In lieu of flowers, consider making a donation in Mimi’s name to Plymouth Area Community Closet, 5 So. Main St., Plymouth NH 03264. Mimi believed deeply in their good work.

Due to these pandemic times, the family will hold a virtual service celebrating Mimi’s life on July 10 at 3:00 p.m. EST. For more information, go to
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Service Details

  • Service

    Starr King Universalist Unitarian Church
    101 Fairgrounds Road
    Plymouth, NH 03264
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    A virtual service will take place from the Starr King Universalist Unitarian Church. Please join the family on Friday, July 10 at 3pm by go to
  • Interment

    Highland Cemetery
    Quincy Road
    Rumney, NH 03266
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Private Condolence

Phoebe Sanborn

Posted at 10:52am
I was an aide to Mimi in her K-4 Resource Rm at PES for three years. She ended up being a friend, mentor and wonderful influence in my future goal to be a teacher. I learned so much from her while watching her teach and interact with her students. Years later as a student teacher I had the pleasure of teaching her grandchild, Lily, when she was in second grade at HCS!! Crazy, wonderful, coincidence!! I will miss not seeing her at the town voting polls and in the local shops. She and Boyce were such wonderful people to know. My heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends Mimi touched in her life! I will always carry fond memories of Mimi with me. ❤️

Patty Sencabaugh Topp

Posted at 03:26pm
Mrs. Mimi, as we called her, was one of my fourth grade teachers at Plymouth Elementary, along with Denzel Smith. Mrs. Mimi was a favorite as she always had a smile and a kind word. She used to let us bring the class record player outside on the cement patio at recess so we could play our 45’s and dance or sing. She was a beloved teacher and I have so many cherished memories. Thank you, Mrs. Mimi, for all the love and laughter you shared and for making me feel special. RIP Mrs. Mimi! You were one-in-a-million! ❤️

judith taccini

Posted at 04:59pm
Mimi, I have always admired your independence and strength. Memories of doing your dishes and commenting "I love doing your dishes". This lady touch my world and heart in so many ways. She'll be missed.

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