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A Political Peacemaker: Former Speaker Tim Ford Remembered at Memorial

OXFORD, Miss.–A political peacemaker is what former Miss. Speaker of the House Tim Ford was called by friends and colleagues at a memorial held Tuesday on the campus of Ole Miss, at the Paris-Yates Chapel.

“Tim was a peace maker, a joy maker, a delight to be around,” said Rep. Steve Holland, who played piano at the memorial and served as a greeter and seater for the packed house.

“He had the gifts of bringing people together, bringing ideas together. He was an extraordinary human being in every way.”

Ford, who died of a heart attack in Oxford Friday, was elected as a Democrat in 1979 and served as House speaker from 1988 to 2004, when he left politics to practice law.

While he was in office, he made an impression on Democrats and Republicans alike. Gov. Phil Bryant, current House Speaker Phillip Gunn and State Treasurer Lynn Fitch were among the Republicans who released statements last week praising Ford after his death.

Rep. Steve Holland greeting guests at the Tim Ford memorial
Rep. Steve Holland greeting guests at the Tim Ford memorial

Holland said he feels that political rancor has taken over in Ford’s absence.

“It’s a thing of the past almost, and that’s an unfortunate thing. We’re just all too partisan and cut up now.”

Other participants included Robert Khayat, chancellor emeritus of Ole Miss.

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