Michelle Elise (Walker) Ford, 66, of Olathe, Kansas, went to heaven on the morning of May 10, 2020 at Menorah Medical Center. Less than three months previously, she went to the doctor with back pain and was unexpectedly diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. She passed away from complications of her treatments.
Michelle was born on March 30, 1954 in Sheboygan, Wisconsin to John and Marilyn Walker. John’s pastorate job moved the family to Iowa, England, Missouri and Kansas. At age 13, Michelle meet the love of her life, Bob Ford, when the Ford family moved onto her St. Louis street. In the words of Michelle’s brother, Randy, “She gave me a look and it was done for Bob.” After several years in St. Louis, the family moved to Overland Park, Kansas. Bob and Michelle continued their relationship long distance until they could reunite at the University of Missouri, Columbia. They were married just before the start of their senior year on August 16, 1975.
Michelle received a degree in early childhood education and began working at a daycare center in Overland Park. In 1985, Michelle gave birth to her daughter, Madison Elise and became a stay-at-home mom. When Madison was old enough to attend preschool, Michelle became a preschool teacher at South-Broadland Presbyterian’s Rainbow Early Childhood Program, where Madison also attended. After a short move to Newton, Kansas where Michelle worked at Wilson’s Drug Store, the family moved to Olathe, where Michelle returned to her passion for child development, working as paraeducator for special needs children at Washington Elementary School. Michelle’s love for children shone through in all that she did. Her patience and love were unmatched.
Michelle continued to teach until her granddaughter Avery was born in August of 2015, when she took her skills home and was promoted to the title of “Nanny.” Words cannot describe how much she treasured the last four years with her granddaughter.
Michelle loved spending time outside, whether that was watching birds in her backyard, canoeing with Bob or camping at state parks. She especially enjoyed all things Disney and could frequently be found wearing Disney apparel from head to toe. She passed her love of Disney onto her family, enjoying three family trips to Walt Disney World in the last two years. Her family will continue to celebrate her love of the mouse with a recently purchased Disney Vacation Club membership.
Survivors include her husband of 45 years, Robert “Bob” Bruce Ford of Olathe, Kansas; brother, Randolph “Randy” John Walker of Lawrence, Kansas; daughter Madison Elise Ediger and her husband Jeremy Joel Ediger of Overland Park, Kansas and granddaughter, Avery Elise Ediger.
She is preceded in death by her parents.
The family would like to thank the amazing doctors, nurses and staff of Menorah Medical Center for their compassionate care, not only to Michelle, but to her loved ones as well.
The family will have a private service due to Covid-19 restrictions. In lieu of flowers, Michelle would have preferred donations go to the medical costs of Chloe Brazzle. While Michelle only had one biological daughter, she truly loved Madison’s best friend, Kelly Brazzle, who was like a second daughter to Michelle. Just weeks after Michelle’s diagnosis, Kelly’s daughter, Chloe, was diagnosed with cancer as well. Even from the ICU, Michelle’s concern was not for herself but for Chloe. Donations can be made at https://www.gofundme.com/f/medical-benefit-for-chloe-b (Please copy and paste the URL address into your browser)
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