Commemorating Gerald Ford

Gerald R. Ford and his family lived in Alexandria from 1951 until 1973, when they moved to the White House. Following Ford's death in 2006, his Alexandria connections were remembered.

Page updated on Jan 11, 2016 at 10:48 AM

Funeral Procession

His funeral plans, established several years before his death, called for the motorcade to pass through the City of Alexandria in remembrance of his long residency here. On the evening of December 30, 2006, President Ford’s funeral procession passed through Alexandria as it traveled from Andrews Air Force Base en route to the U.S. Capitol.

Hundreds of Alexandrians lined the streets to say farewell to one of their most famous residents, and to pay respects to the Ford family. As the long motorcade proceeded northward on Washington Street, mourners were moved to see Mrs. Ford wave to the crowd. Some placed their hands over their hearts as the President’s hearse passed, and others gave a military salute. Some in the crowd applauded, but most stood in respectful silence.

City Commemorations

That week, Mayor William D. Euille announced plans for a process for the City to commemorate President Ford and his strong affection for his adopted hometown. Mayor Euille appointed a committee chaired by former Councilman David G. Speck and comprised of Ferdinand Day, Jessica Gibson, Pat Troy and Donnan C. Wintermute. In October 2007, the committee, after considering many suggestions from the public, recommended a new park, not far from where the Ford family had lived, be named in honor of President Ford and that a street associated with the new open space also be named for him.

The Planning Commission unanimously approved a new street off Janney’s Lane, originally designated as Barecroft Place, be renamed President Ford Lane. The City Council approved a new open space at 1422-1426 Janney’s Lane, at the southeast corner of North Quaker Lane, be named President Gerald R. Ford Park.

Masonic Commemorations

President Ford’s association with the Masons is also commemorated in Alexandria at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial. On February 17, 1975, President Ford was at the Masonic Memorial for the unveiling of the bronze Gerald R. Ford Masonic Medallion and plaque now displayed in the auditorium. Also on display at the Memorial is a football from the East-West Shrine game bearing the autograph “Gerald Ford”. An exceptional athlete and star football player at the University of Michigan, a young Jerry Ford played for the East in the East-West Shrine Game in 1935.

Learn More about Gerald R. Ford in Alexandria

Ford Hearse image
President Ford’s hearse crossing Gibbon Street as it travels north on Washington Street. Courtesy, Peter Heywood.
Ford Mourners image
Mourners along Washington Street, some holding candles, await President Ford’s funeral motorcade. Courtesy, Peter Heywood.
Ford Street Sign image
President Ford Lane is located off of Janney’s Lane.
Ford Park Sign image
President Gerald R. Ford Park is located at the southeast corner of Janney’s and North Quaker lanes.
Ford Park Plaque image
A bronze plaque at the park recalls President Ford’s political career as well as his years in Alexandria.
Ford Masonic Ceremony image
In 1975, President Ford attended the unveiling of a bronze Masonic medallion with his likeness at the Masonic Memorial in Alexandria. Courtesy, Don Robey.