William Edward Ford Harper
- April 6, 1915 - August 8, 2007
- Clinton Corners, New York
of William's Passing
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William Edward Ford Harper, 92
Town of Clinton - William Edward Ford Harper, 92, died at home August 8, 2007. The eldest of three children, he was born to Henry Humphrey and Sadie Rose Harper April 6, 1915 on the Briarcliff Farm, Pine Plains where Henry was horse foreman at Barn B. In 1926, the family purchased a dairy farm in Clinton Corners, where Ford attended the one-room schoolhouse and later the Stanfordville School. Though offered a basketball scholarship to Oakwood, Ford chose to work the farm.
At the age of 3, Ford met Helen Zilpha Briggs and declared she was the girl he¯d marry, which he did, on April 12, 1942. They lived on Brigg¯s farm in Hyde Park then Rochdale, where he became department steward at DeLaval. He also worked for Standard Gauge and then Dick¯s Auto Body. They returned to Brigg¯s Farm then back to Clinton Corners.
In 1952, Ford became Town of Clinton Highway Superintendent. In 1960, he left the Town for Baright¯s GLF. The next year, Ford was convinced to return to the Town where, as ¯Pappy¯, he dedicated himself to the town and its roads for 21 years. He was justly proud of his accomplishments, among them constructing 1.5 miles of roads each year, which the residents appreciated. On his own time, Ford transformed the town¯s gravel bank into what is now Clinton Hollow Park. On the clock or off, Ford was always there for the town¯s residents. In 1975, he retired from the Town and helped turn the dairy farm where he grew up into Clinton Vineyards. Though a heart attack in 1981 slowed him down, Ford and his wife didn¯t stop working at the vineyard for many more years.
Ford was active in the community. He was a Crum Elbow Cemetery trustee for forty years. A life member of the East Clinton Fire Department, he was a past officer and commissioner. In 2006, he was honored as the oldest living ECFD member. The Clinton Historical Society honored him in 2004 for his time and information on the town¯s past. Ford loved the outdoors and spent many summer days at the ¯Crow¯s Nest¯, their cabin in the Adirondacks. He was a member of the Dutchess County Sportsmen¯s Association and the Beaver Meadow Club in the Adirondacks. In 1968, he recorded the largest deer taken in Dutchess County. Sports were always a part of his life and Ford could give the Yankees and Mets standings right to the end. Recognized by his coveralls, pipe and cap, Ford kept people on their toes with his quick wit and subtle sense of humor.
In addition to his wife Helen, Ford is survived by his brother Glenn Harper and wife Betty; sister Betty Haynes and husband Bruce; son Allan Harper and wife Barbara; and. son-in-law Charles ¯Chick¯ Wyant. He is also survived by his grandchildren Karen Larsen and husband Curtis; Charles ¯CJ¯ Wyant and wife Christine; Jennifer Harper; Simon Wyant; Andrew Harper; Sarah Burns and husband Chris; Liana Grey and Julia Grey as well as nine great-grandchildren. His daughter Kathleen ¯Kay¯ Wyant passed away November 4, 2006.
Calling hours will be from 2 to 5 pm, Saturday, August 11, 2007 at Sweet¯s Funeral Home, Inc., Rte. 9, Hyde Park.
Graveside services and burial will be at 1 pm, Sunday, August 12th in the family plot in Crum Elbow Cemetery, North Quaker Lane, Hyde Park. Rev. Karl Esmark will officiate.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Meeting House Restoration Fund, Crum Elbow Cemetery Assn, c/o Karen Larsen, PO Box 103, Clinton Corners, NY 12514.
To send a condolence or for directions, please visit www.sweetsfuneralhome.com.