|Grandson of Dr. Thomas Phillips
September 17, 1961, Montague, Michigan
F. Thomas Fordham dies at Claybanks Home
F. Thomas Fordham for many years a Claybanks Township and Oceana County public official died early Sunday at his home on Rogers Road. He was 80. Mr. Fordham had been in ill health for six years. Mr. Fordham was born January 6, 1881, on the Claybanks farm of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. James Fordham. Mr. Fordham served 20 years as township clerk, and on the county board of supervisors for two terms. He served on the county board of election canvassers. Mr. Fordham was an authority of Claybanks and Oceana County history. He was a grandson of Dr. Thomas Philips, pioneer physician of that area. He had large collection of Indian arrowheads picked up on his farm and surrounding area.
Musical by nature, Mr. Fordham was a talented violinmaker, and versed in the history of violin making and famous violinmakers. He had made 10 violins and two mandolins and at the time he was stricken with paralysis about six years ago had just completed a cello.
Mr. Fordham was married June 26. 1919 to Lydia Butzer at the Butzer home in Claybanks. She was the daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Fred C. Butzer Sr. He attended Claybanks Methodist Church and was a member of Montague Lodge, No 198.
Mr. Fordham is survived by one daughter Olive Jane Fordham, principal of Glendale School, Muskegon Heights: two sons, Clifford of Claybanks, an engineer in Continental Motors Aviation Division, Muskegon and Floyd, a teacher at Warren, and two grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at Gee Chapel, Whitehall, at 2 p.m. Tuesday, the Rev. David Renshaw, pastor of Claybanks Methodist Church, officiating. Burial will be in Mt. Hope Cemetery, Flower Creek with Masonic graveside rites. |
Thomas was born Jan. 6, 1881, on the Claybanks farm of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. James Fordham. He died Sep. 17, 1961. He served 20 years as township clerk and on the county board of supervisors for two terms. Mr. Fordham was an authority on Claybanks and Oceana County history and had a large collection of Indian arrowheads picked up on his farm and the surrounding area. Tom, as he was known, farmed the family farm in section 27 of Claybanks Township and worked in Muskegon during the war years. While farming was a means of livelihood, his true love was music; making and playing the violin. Many of the area children were brought to the home for their weekly violin lessons. Tom enjoyed attending the Masonic Lodge in Montague, playing semi-classical music for church functions, graduations, and other community events. As a young man, he played for dances to help finance his sisterís schooling. Musical by nature, Mr. Fordham was a talented violinmaker, and versed in the history of violin making and famous violinmakers. Many of the area children were brought to the home for their weekly violin lessons. Tom made 10 fine violins and 2 mandolins and at age 75 was working on a cello when he was stricken with a stroke and never completed the instrument.. Thomas married Lydia K. Butzer of Claybanks on June 26, 1919. They had four children: Floyd, Clifford, Olive Jane, and Charles. Charles died soon after birth. Olive Jane Fordham became a principal of Glendale School, Muskegon Heights. Clifford of Claybanks became an engineer in Continental Motors Aviation Division, Muskegon. He died at age 80 (1961) and is buried in Flower Creek Cemetery in Claybanks Township, Oceana County, where four generations of the Fordham family now rest