WATCH: Funeral service honors former Toledo mayor Jack Ford

TOLEDO (13abc Action News) Funeral services for Former Toledo mayor Jack Ford were held Monday, March 30. He was buried at Ferncliff Cemetery in Springfield.

Ford died Saturday, March 21, at the age of 67.

Ford, a Democrat, served as the first African American mayor of Toledo from 2002-2006.

He was a prominent figure in the local community, holding office as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives and the Toledo Public School Board.

Ford was also an educator, teaching at the University of Toledo, Bowling Green State University and Owens Community College.

At 13abc, viewers may remember his public affairs program "Coffee With The Fords," which Jack hosted, with his now estranged wife, Cynthia.

Ford is credited with creating the Toledo Youth Commission, the lead abatement program and the Toledo curfew law.

Toledo Mayor Paula HIcks-Hudson calls Ford a "trailblazer" remembering his as someone who she viewed as a older brother. In fact, Ford wrote HIcks-Hudson's speech she read this morning after her campaign kickoff breakfast, just hours after he died.

Larry Sykes, who worked with Ford on Toledo's city council and the TPS school board, says "Ford's impact will be felt all around the state of Ohio." Sykes says most of all, he will miss a man he called a friend.

Senator Randy Gardner served with Ford while he was a State Representative for 7 years in Columbus. Gardner was the House Speaker Pro Term when Ford became the House Minority Leader in 1999.

"Jack Ford had an amazing public service career. I know Jack was proud to serve as the first African-American minority leader in the history of the Ohio House of representatives. He was as committed to his ideals as any leader I have known. This is another terrible shock to the Toledo community," says Senator Gardner.

Former Mayor Carty Finkbeiner remembers Jack Ford as a close friend of his for 35 years.

"Although we ran against each other for mayor in 2009, once that election was over our friendship resumed and got stronger.As able a community leader as Jack was, I considered him to be much more a friend than a fellow politician. I will miss him as a friend very much, " says Finkbeiner.

Most Reverend Daniel E. Thomas, Bishop of Toledo, with the Diocese of Toledo says he is mourning the loss of yet another top leader. The Diocese released the following statement:

"Councilman Ford has served our city, state, and citizens in a variety of offices with competency and generosity for more than four decades. I am certain that his care and concern for the good people of Toledo and Ohio will be remembered for many years to come. On behalf of the Diocese of Toledo and in my own name, I offer deep sympathies and assurance of prayers for his family, the people of Toledo, and all who mourn his loss."

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