- Deceased's name: Diane K. Ford
- Age: 63
- Date: Jan. 24, 2013
Diane Laurel Karrer Ford, age 63, of Havre de Grace, passed away on January 24, 2013, at the Upper Chesapeake Hooper House in Forest Hill, MD, after a sudden and short illness.
Born on May 11, 1949, in Cleveland, OH, she was the elder child of the late Luther George Karrer and Dorothy Jeanne Keller Karrer. Diane grew up in nearby Euclid and earned a B.S. in Education from Kent State University in 1971.
Following graduation, Diane’s professional career took many turns, first as manager of a personnel firm in Ohio, then as a Girl Scout Council director in Colorado. She moved to Maryland in 1976 and became a recruiter for the University of Maryland Co-op Extension Service, then a coordinator with the Harford County Commission for Women, and then a field supervisor with Planned Parenthood of Maryland.
In 1979 she joined Singer Career Systems at the former Job Corps center in Port Deposit as a placement supervisor, then as director of personnel. In 1983 she joined Susquehanna Region Private Industry Council as a marketing rep, followed by operations manager, assistant director and then executive director, until 1998 when Federal support of its function ceased.
Diane briefly operated her own marketing and workforce consulting firm, and then joined Strayer University from 2001 to 2010. She served as admissions officer, campus manager and retention manager at two Maryland locations, then campus director at two locations near Philadelphia and Christiana, DE. While with Strayer she earned an MBA with honors at the age of 58, with her thesis on physician shortages in Maryland. Upon leaving Strayer she took a position with the Department of Defense at Aberdeen Proving Ground in the field of military security, where she worked until the very end of this December.
A talented leader and tireless devotee to community service, Diane was heavily involved with many surprisingly diverse organizations. She has currently served for 20 years on the Upper Chesapeake Health Board of Trustees. She has served as past chair or president of the Havre de Grace Economic Development Commission, Harford County Futures Commission, Rotary Club of Havre de Grace, Harford County Community Housing Resources Board, Harford County Children’s Council, Association of the US Army/APG Chapter, Downtown Focus Group of Havre de Grace, Sexual Assault/Spouse Abuse Resource Center (SAARC) of Harford County, Tri-Count Diving and Rescue Club, United Way Partnership Board/Harford County, Harford/Cecil Small Business Development Center, Harford County Chamber of Commerce, Cecil County Business Education Partnership Advisory Council, and Harford County Business and Education Advisory Task Force.
In addition, she has served as a past board member or commissioner with Cecil County Chamber of Commerce, Harford County Council of Community Services, Harford County Economic Development Advisory Board, Salvation Army Advisory Board, Cecil County Economic Development Commission, and Harford County Planning Advisory Board. She was also a nationally certified economic developer. Diane was especially proud to be named a Paul Harris Fellow in Rotary, a graduate of the Harford Leadership Academy, an inductee of Upper Chesapeake Health Foundation’s Archer Society, and a trusted adviser to many local, county and state elected officials and community leaders.
Diane is survived by her husband of 27 years, Volney Howard Ford II, formerly of Lynchburg, VA, along with her only sister Denise Karrer Craig and husband Jack of Kent, OH and their adult children Jeanne and Jason, to whom she was honored to be godmother. Having no natural children, she is also survived by Volney’s sons, Bryan A. Ford and wife Bekah of Felton, DE and four children Allie, Katie, Nick and Jack, as well as Christopher B. Ford and wife Jennifer of Munford, TN and their son Caiden. These became her own cherished children and grandchildren, to whom she was known as Gramma.
A celebration of her life, friendships and accomplishments will be held at the Bayou banquet facilities on Route 40 in Havre de Grace, 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, February 16, 2013, for all who were touched by her. The family suggests that memorial contributions in her honor and memory be directed to the Senator Bob Hooper House, 2007 Klein Plaza Drive, Forest Hill, MD 21050 (www.uchospice.org).