THOMAS EUGENE BRIGGS FORD, a 17 year old Ranger High
School student, was killed instantly at 5:10 p.m. Tuesday,
February 16, 1960 when the car he was driving was struck by
a freight train on East Main street in Ranger, TX.
Tommy, the son of Emery Eugene and Ovella Ford, who lived on
Highway 80 East of Ranger, had just turned off Highway 80 onto
East Main Street, on his way to an inter-school basketball game
practice at the Recreation Building, when the freight train
hit his 1955 Chevrolet. He was dead on arrival at the Ranger
Thomas Ford was born in Alvin, TX, on May 5, 1942. He moved
to Ranger with his parents eight years later. He was a member
of the First Christian Church.
Ford was Co-Captain of the Ranger Bulldog football team, and
was a letterman for three years. He was named to the all-
district and all-area teams last season.
The Ranger Lions Club presented him with the outstanding letter-
man trophy for 1959 at a football banquet recently, at which he
also served as master of ceremonies.
He was the Senior class president, a member of the Student Council
at Ranger High School. He had participated in the Junior and
Senior class plays.
He held the second to highest Scout rank, a Life Scout in Explorer
Post 16 of Ranger. He was an active leader in school, club and
Survivors at the time of his death include the parents, Mr. and Mrs.
E.E. Ford, one sister Barbara A. (RHS-1963), and one brother Emery
E. Jr. (RHS-1967), both of the home. Maternal grandparents, Mr.
and Mrs. T. Y. Sunday of Iowa Colony, Texas, great grandmothers, Mrs.
George Sunday of Montgomery and Mrs. M.M. Pouncey of Cleveland,
Pallbearers were Jim Robinson, Richard Jolly, James Henry, Charles
White, Jerry Anderson, Homer Montgomery, Richard Robie and Bobby
Fron. Burial was in the Forrest Park Cemetery in Pearland near
Tommy Ford honored by classmates on 50th anniversary in 2010
Mike Herrington, Mac Jacoby, & Betty Koerner Gilbert
with granddaughter Melissa Myers.
Tommy Ford's grave site revisited in 2010
I wrote the original obituary/news story in our hometown paper
back in 1960. I also got to accompany family and pallbearers to
the burial site back then. On August 17, 2010, I found and
revisited Tommy's grave. His tombstone reads "Tommy B. Ford."
I think he was doing some wishful thinking years ago when he
told me his full name was Thomas Eugene Briggs Ford II. Eugene
is the name of both his dad and little brother. The cemetery
is now known as South Park and lies on North Main Street, more
or less, between Pearland and Alvin. Both Mr. and Mrs. Ford and
Emery, Jr. are buried beside Tommy and next to many of Mrs. Ford's
family, the Sundays, including Tommy's grandfather, Thomas Yancey
Sunday. Interestingly, the opening scenes from the movie "Urban
Cowboy", starring John Travolta, were filmed in South Park Cemetery,
not far from Tommy's grave site. Picture
Mike Herrington (RHS-1960)