Adrian Lamont Ford, 73 died on Saturday, January16, 2021 at HealthAlliance Hospital, Leominster, MA suddenly after a brief illness.
Adrian was born in New Castle, PA on February 28, 1947, the son of Leo Gilbert Ford and Primma Rosebud (Thompson) Ford Mahone but he was loved and raised by his stepfather Doc Mahone. He lived in Fitchburg, Massachusetts since 1966.
Adrian graduated from New Castle, Pa. high school. Adrian’s undergraduate studies include Mount Wachusett Community College and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He has a bachelor’s degree in Human Services along with a Master’s Degree in Community Economic Development from New Hampshire University Graduate School of Business.
Adrian was a civil rights and community activist championing the causes of racial equality and social and economic justice. He founded the Fitchburg chapter of Three Pyramids Community and Economic Development Corporation in 1971. In 1972 he became the Chief Executive Officer of the state-wide agency, a position he continued to hold until he passed. In 1973 Three Pyramids received a grant from the Episcopal Church of New York to provide relief supplies and support to soldiers in West Africa fighting for their country’s freedom. Adrian worked at the United Nations with Ambassadors of other nations to coordinate grants. Adrian showed courage and worked tirelessly to “speak truth to power” to address the injustices that result from systemic and institutional racism.
In 1992, Adrian co-founded the North Central Massachusetts Minority Coalition, better known as The Minority Coalition, which is a multicultural and multi- sector collaborative working for racial, gender and economic equity in the North Central Region. Adrian produced and hosted “Freedom Means” Three Pyramids “UPI” Award Winning Radio Program since 1974. He hosted the network as well as public access television programs. He was a columnist for the Sentinel and Enterprise Newspaper. He served as a consultant, writer, and trainer to a wide variety of public and private policy officials, educators, businesses, and neighborhood groups.
Three Massachusetts governors appointed Adrian to some of the state’s highest level policy boards including Education Reform, Workforce Development, School-to-Work, and Business and Economic Development.
In the early 1990’s Adrian was hired as the first Executive Director for the Massachusetts Association for Community Action (MASSCAP) which is the state association of the 23 Community Action Agencies. He was a longtime consultant for the local Community Action Agency, MOC, providing training and technical assistance in the areas of racial equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Adrian was honored for his contributions to Massachusetts communities in a variety of ways, including being named one of Fitchburg State College’s 100 Most Historically Influential Leaders during the college’s 100th Anniversary Celebration in 1994. Adrian was instrumental in the establishment of the City of Fitchburg’s Human Rights Commission serving until his passing.
Adrian loved to read, the value of learning was so important to him, he also loved hiking and the ocean. Adrian was very active, walking daily, climbing Mount Monadnock many times and taking visits regularly to Cape Cod. Most important to Adrian was spending time with his children and family; the people he loved the very most.
Adrian is survived by his wife Donna-Jean Ford and his children; Adrian L. Ford, Jr. and his wife Jessie, Robert Reyes, Maya Ford-Diaz and her husband Ricardo, Kahlil Ford, all of Fitchburg; and Shelia Proctor of Leominster.
His brothers, Mark E. Mahone of California, and Patrick A. Mahone and his wife, Teri, of Fitchburg; his sisters, Leona M. Ford-Price of Fitchburg, Diana Malave of Leominster, Marlene L. Bailey, Dorcena Dean, Windale Walker and her husband James, all of New Castle, Pa. and Denise Vick and her husband James, of Tacoma, Washington. 23 grandchildren; Antonio, Tayonia, Adrian, Johnathan, Isiah, Zatreanna, Kiera, Tzuriel, Aviella, Shavtiel, Jaryce, Nadeja, Robert, Jaydee, Robert, Jovani, Laiah, Ricardo, Adonis, Amil, Azaleah, Ayden, Dominique. 16 Great grandchildren, abundance of Godchildren and host of nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.
Adrian’s parents Leo Gilbert Ford and Primma Rosebud (Thompson) Ford Mahone and Doc Mahone died before him. Maternal grandparents, Olin Thompson and Mattie Humphry and Paternal grandmother Loretta Mahone; His brothers Arnold Lee Ford, Sr., Doc Mahone Jr., Ondra Mahone and his sisters, Ophelia (Ford) Earley Gregory, Felecia Lewis, Margaret Hopkins, and Holly-Jean also died before him.
Funeral services will be PRIVATE. Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.
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