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Charleigh Dowling Ford, Jr

Charleigh Dowling Ford, Jr, died June 27, 2020 at The Windsor Place in Columbus, Mississippi. A graveside service officiated by Reverend Anne Russell Bradley was held at Friendship Cemetery on Tuesday June 20, 2020. Charleigh was born in Columbus, Mississippi on October 20, 1941. He graduated from S.D. Lee High School in 1959 and Mississippi State University in 1963 where he was an officer for Sigma Alpha Epsilon as well as several honorary organizations. Upon graduation, Charleigh was commissioned an officer in the United States Air Force. During his year in Vietnam, Charleigh received the Distinguished Flying Cross and six Air Medals. Following active duty, Charleigh served many years in the MS Air National Guard, retiring after earning the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Charleigh worked as an economic developer in Newton, Brookhaven and Columbus, Mississippi. He completed postgraduate work at the University of Georgia He earned both a Certified Economic and Community Developer and Certified Chamber Executive, the first in his field to earn both designations in the state. Charleigh was an active member of the ministries of The First United Methodist Church. He was active in the Emmaus Community, Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen and Columbus Kiwanis Club. He was selected as the 2008 Junior Auxiliary Charity Ball King. He was preceded in death by his parents, Charleigh Dowling, Sr and Frances Augusta Sudduth Ford. He leaves behind his wife of 57 years Lillian Joe “Lillajo” Hixon Ford, son, Charleigh Dowling “Dow” Ford, III and his wife Heather McAnally Ford of Columbus and his son Mark Hixon Ford and his wife Kirstin Boyd Ford of Germantown, Tennessee. His granddaughter, Hannah Frances Ford of Columbus and his grandsons, William Parker Ford, Thomas Landon Ford of Germantown and Adam Reese Ford of Columbus. Pall Bearers were his grandsons, nephews, Michael Shane Hixon and Thomas Gatlin Hixon, Jr and cousin Burns Ford. Memorials may be made to Loaves and Fishes of Lowndes County, P.O. Box 441, Columbus ,MS 39703, 662-549-8607.