Paul L. Fordham
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Paul L. Fordham
  • December 3, 1949 - September 21, 2017
  • Harlan, Indiana

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Paul L. Fordham, 67, of Harlan, passed away on September 21, 2017. Born on December 3, 1949, in Fort Wayne, he was the son of the late Elvin G and Mary M (Erbskorn) Fordham. A member of North Scipio United Methodist Church, Harlan, he served as Chairman of the Trustees there for many years. Paul also served as a member of the Springfield Township Advisory Board for 24 years. Keeping things in good condition and making improvements were very important to him.
This attitude was evident as he worked as a farmer his whole life. He invented, built and briefly pursued a patent on what he called a "Bean Buggy." This was a self-propelled cart that was steered with foot pedals leaving hands free to either hoe out or spray individual weeds. Then he built a "Bean Bar" which was a long bar with a seat on each end and attached to a tractor so that three people at a time could ride through the fields attacking the weeds.
Paul was very good at using what he already had to make what he needed or wanted. Used bicycle tires became a garden cart; old wagon running gears became an iron rack, large flatbed wagon, and a raised hunting shack with steps instead of a ladder for easier access. Leftover metal sheets from a round grain bin became raised garden beds. He also made a loft in the shop, a 12' box scraper, a V ditch closer, an 8' S-tine cultivator, a swing-around auger, wheeled carts for the snow blower and garden tiller, chair racks for church, an 8 foot high rolling stepladder, a lawn mower trailer, a reloading bench, a metal loft bed for his grandson and had almost completed another hunting shack on skids when he became ill with pancreatic cancer.
Paul loved being outdoors whether he was farming with the neighbors or hunting and fishing with friends and family. Some special times were hunting deer in Wyoming, fishing for Walleye in Canada and his trip to Alaska.

He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Donna (Eager) Fordham; daughters, Pam (Andy) Ewing, Karen Maddox; son, Brad (Machelle) Fordham; grandchildren, Trevor Maddox, Carlee Ewing, and Cadence Fordham; and sister, Phyllis (Mike) Rekeweg. He was also preceded in death by his granddaughter, Claire Fordham; and nephews, Chad Reeb, Chevy Reeb and Jeff McKee and brother-in-law, Tom Reeb.
Family was extremely important to him partly because he was well aware of how short life can be. He was only 30 years old when he was first diagnosed with cancer. His son was a baby and his daughters were 6 and 7 years old. The Lord blessed him with 37 more years to be a loving husband, Dad and PaPa; and gave him time to go fishing with his grandchildren. God also blessed him with a solar eclipse on August 21, 2017, his last anniversary with his wife. Paul cared deeply about everyone's future. On Sunday, September 17th, while the family was gathered around him, he told them that the most important decision you can make in your life is to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.
Funeral service was 2pm, Sunday, September 24, 2017, at North Scipio United Methodist Church, 23628 State Road 37, Harlan, with calling one hour prior. Burial was in Scipio Cemetery, Harlan. Memorial donations may be given to North Scipio United Methodist Church, Harlan; Parkview Home Health and Hospice or Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana. For online condolences please visit www.hockemeyerfuneralhome.com