2015 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Ward, Blount, Browning, Bryan, Burton, Butler (36th), Butler (38th), Carmichael, Chassaniol, Clarke, Collins, Dawkins, Doty, Fillingane, Frazier, Gandy, Gollott, Hale, Harkins, Hill, Hopson, Horhn, Hudson, Jackson (11th), Jackson (15th), Jackson (32nd), Jolly, Jones, Jordan, Kirby, Lee, Longwitz, Massey, McDaniel, Montgomery, Moran, Norwood, Parker, Parks, Polk, Simmons (12th), Simmons (13th), Smith, Sojourner, Stone, Tindell, Tollison, Turner, Watson, Wiggins, Wilemon, Younger

Senate Concurrent Resolution 597

(As Adopted by Senate)


     WHEREAS, the Legislature and the State of Mississippi lost a wonderful friend, leader, colleague, enlightened lawmaker, respected attorney and gentleman with the death of former Speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives Timothy Alan (Tim) Ford of Baldwyn, Mississippi, on February 27, 2015, at 63 years of age; and

     WHEREAS, Tim was born October 22, 1951, in Baldwyn, Mississippi, the son of Dr. John Mitchell and Rachel Agnew Ford.  Along with being a devoted Eagle Scout, Tim was Valedictorian and an All Tombigbee quarterback of the Baldwyn Bearcats; and

     WHEREAS, Tim went to Ole Miss and was a pole vaulter on the track team but after pledging Sigma Nu and being elected cheerleader, he abandoned track, as well as his pre-med major; and

     WHEREAS, after graduation from Ole Miss Law School, Tim practiced law with Carnathan and Malski and was Assistant District Attorney until his election to the Mississippi House of Representatives at age 27; and

     WHEREAS, in 1986, he was elected Speaker at age 36.  While Speaker, he chaired the Southern Legislative Conference, National Speakers Conference and the State Legislative Leaders Foundation.  Tim was the first House Speaker in the nation to receive the William M. Bulger Excellence in State Legislative Leadership Award and was recipient of the Supreme Court 2003 Chief Justice Award; and

     WHEREAS, at Tim's Memorial Service held in the House Chamber of March 5, 2015, he was remembered by his colleagues as a skilled politician who built consensus through inclusion and cared deeply about the state and his fellow lawmakers; and

     WHEREAS, on his retirement from the Legislature in 2004, he was the longest then-serving Speaker in the United States and the second-longest serving Speaker in the history of Mississippi; and

     WHEREAS, after his legislative career, Tim went back to the practice of law and was a Senior Partner and member of the Executive Committee of Balch & Bingham, LTD, a 250-member firm with offices in four states and Washington, D.C.; and

     WHEREAS, "Tim Ford always felt the House of Representatives was the chamber of the common man in Mississippi.  He never wavered from that," said Mac Gordon, Public Information Officer for the Mississippi House in the mid-1990s; and

     WHEREAS, Tim married Kathy Watkins Braddock on July 1, 2006.  He knew himself blessed to have her and her daughters, Hope and Leighton, join him and his sons, Ken and Sam, in a great joyous family.  Tim was predeceased by his parents, Rachel Agnew Ford and Dr John Mitchell Ford, and is survived by his wife, Kathy Braddock Ford of Jackson, Mississippi; sons Kenneth Alan Ford (Debbie) of Nashville, Tennessee, and Samuel Ford of Columbus, Mississippi; daughters Hope Mitchell (Gerry) of Meridian, Mississippi, and Leighton Mason (Robert) of Oxford, Mississippi; grandchildren:  Simmons Ford, Eli Mitchell, Meredith Mitchell, Mims Mason and Bo Mason; brother, Chip Ford (Janice) of Greenwood, Mississippi and Nan Robinson (Greg) of Meridian, Mississippi; nieces and nephews:  Carrie Ford and Rachel Ford, both of Boise, Idaho, Mitch Robinson of Washington, D.C., and Morgan Robinson of Birmingham, Alabama; and

     WHEREAS, what Tim accomplished in public service, however noted and honorable, does not compare with the lives that he touched, friends that he made and happiness that he brought to everyone who knew him.  His genial nature and sense of fairness served him and the State of Mississippi well in those 16 years he presided as Speaker.  Speaker Ford served as a leader and mentor in the Mississippi House of Representatives and for the entire Legislature and consistently held the highest standards, including ethics, integrity, civility, courtesy and adherence to the Golden Rule.  He advised his colleagues, "One only has so many points of personal privilege, use them wisely."  Tim Ford loved life, laughter and the Legislature.  Tim's life honored the Mississippi Legislature, The Mississippi Bar and this great state that he loved and served:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby mourn the loss and commend the life and public service of former Speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives Timothy Alan (Tim) Ford, and express the sympathy of the Legislature on his passing.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to the surviving family of former Speaker Tim Ford, forwarded to the Chancellor of Ole Miss and the Managing Partner of Balch & Bingham, LLP, and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.