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Oakland’s Ford Brothers Successful In Life

By Charles Cooper

Hello everyone, hope you’re having a good week.  My profile this week is known to nearly everyone in Yalobusha county. Melvin Ford and his twin brother, Marvin were born to Roy and Mavourleen Ford, the youngest of seven boys.         
They grew up in Oakland working on the farm and graduated from the Oakland High School. They went to Wood Community College where they graduated just in time for Melvin to be drafted during the Korean war.  Upon coming home he was discharged and entered Delta State University, where he received his degree and went on to earn his masters at Memphis State. He also met Cecil Ann Simpson at Memphis State and after both received their degrees, they were married in December of 1963.  
They both worked in Water Valley schools where Melvin was elected county Superintendent of Education in 1964.
Apparently he decided that politics was not for him because he did not run for re-election. Instead he taught in the schools and eventually was assistant to Superintendent Alfred Reed, Jr. During this time he and Cecil were very active in church and civic affairs.          Over the years he was in the forefront of many projects in the Jaycees and the Chamber of Commerce.  When he reached the length of service where he could retire from the school system, he started a new career with the Bank of Water Valley.  In addition to his duties with the bank, he was in charge of arranging  overseas tours for many years. His expertise in this area made it possible for many people to travel to parts of the world they possibly might never have visited.  
His twin, Marvin, had a very successful career for many years as a cotton broker and is now retired and living in Collierville, Tenn.  Melvin and Cecil’s daughter, Marjorie, has lived in Memphis and had a successful career in her own right.  I’ve known this family as far back as I can remember and I’m proud to be their first cousin.
 I’m going to change directions as I usually do, to say how saddened I was to learn of the death of Taylor Williamson and Mr. Hershel Howell. I have known Trent over 30 years and met Mr. Howell through him, although I had heard Mother speak of him many times .  I knew Taylor slightly until a couple of years ago but Margie and I were in school together and his brother, Tuffy, and I have been friends for years.  My condolences to both families.   
My therapist at Cornerstone says I’m getting mobility back in my arm so for the time being, my columns may seem short but as the late Brother Dave Gardner was fond of saying, “have faith dear hearts, the best is yet to come.”  
Keep writing and emailing as your input is always appreciated and used whenever possible. My email address is or write me at P.O. Box 613189 Memphis, TN 38101 and have a great Easter.

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