Fred Ford was one of the “real” characters in the trapshooting game. He would flip a coin with you or bet that a fly would or would not land on the wall. He died September 6, 1973 of a heart attack and stroke in the Beaumont, Michigan hospital. He lived in Birmingham and owned many businesses in the Detroit area, including companies connected with the automotive and building industries, prior to his retirement.
Fred Ford, the Michigan Hall of Famer who once fired the cannon to begin his state’s shoot, attended 48 consecutive Grands and earned his pin for registering 100,000 singles targets at the 1968 Ohio State Shoot. In 1926 he placed fourth in the Grand International Tournament at St. Thomas, Ontario, beginning a string of trophy wins that extended over 4 and a half decades. His first state title was captured in 1928 when he won the Michigan doubles championship. In 1931 he repeated that feat and added the all-around crown, keeping both titles in 1932.
In 1941, Mr. Ford won second place in Class AA during the Grand American Clay Target Championships, and that same year he became the first Michigan gunner to win the state singles title with 200 x 200.
Fred Ford regained his Michigan State doubles crown in 1942, placed second in the Cuban “Tirada International” in 1951, and was handicap runner-up in his state shoot the latter year. In 1962 he was High Paleface in the Okoboji Indians handicap race and won yardage prizes there in “63 and ’65. Mr. Ford was named to the all-time All-American Veterans Team announced in 1962. In that same year Mr. Ford won Class C singles in the Central Zone tournament.
Non-resident Class B honors went to Fred Ford at the 1964 Ohio State shoot, and he was his home state’s veteran champ that same year and again in 1965.
He was a 50-year life member of the Oriental Lodge No. 240 F&AM, a Shriner and a 32nd degree Mason. He was a life member of both the ATA and the Michigan Trapshooting Association. He was named to his state’s Hall of Fame in 1973. He was a member of the Birmingham Gun Club and the Detroit Gun Club, in addition to having the Okoboji Indian title “Chief Flip Coin.”