Galax optometrist passes away at 60

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Dr. Henry Ford recently retired after practicing in Galax 27 years.

By Brian Funk, Editor

It was rare to see Dr. Henry Ford without a smile or a story to tell, and those facets of the late optometrist’s upbeat personality will be celebrated with a party in his honor on Saturday.
Ford passed away Nov. 17 after suffering a heart attack. He was 60 years old.
Ford is remembered by family, friends and patients as a positive, friendly and talkative person, and having a party instead of a funeral is what he wanted, family members say.
“Bring your stories for a night of laughs and good memories,” they wrote in his obituary.

The Oklahoma native moved to Galax and practiced optometry for 27 years. He retired Aug. 31 and sold the practice.
He began as a partner with Dr. James Jackson in 1985, then became the sole owner of the downtown Galax practice when Jackson retired. Later, his practice moved to East Stuart Drive, where he operated in an office with close friend and dentist Dr. David Ritchie.
Ford married wife Joyce in 1977 and they had two daughters and a son. The Fords had three grandsons and a newborn granddaughter.
Ford graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree and agriculture/vocational education and then earned his optometry degree at Northeastern University.
He was a member of the American Optometric Association and Virginia Optometric Association, a volunteer with the Lions Club and a fellow at the Virginia Academy of Optometry.
He also coached his three children in basketball and baseball as they grew up and was a passionate supporter of Galax athletics.
Ford’s memorial service will be held Saturday at the Galax Country Club at the city’s municipal golf course on Country Club Lane.
Ford requested that memorial contributions be made to the GHS Wrestling Boosters or the Lions Club of Galax.