Below is a letter from Father Dan Lackie, OFM, paying tribute to Father Nevin Ford.
- Click here to view photos of Father Nevin from the Province Archives
- Click here to view a video slideshow of Father Nevin from one of his students
July 15, 2017
Feast of St. Bonaventure
Dear Friend of the Friars,
As I was leaving Father Nevin’s room after visiting a few months ago, he handed me a page from one of his scrapbooks. At the top he’d printed Life and Art and under he’d written: I started with a clean, one inch square stick of pine about a foot long. I carved a totem pole. That was in 1942. I was 14.
This year Father Nevin Ford celebrates 70 years as a Franciscan, which means a long road of service, beauty, and joy began with that stick of pine.
In his decades teaching high school – geometry and algebra were regularly on his docket – Father Nevin always found time to introduce his students to the visual arts. While studying art himself during summers at Notre Dame and Catholic University, he opened up for his students worlds of beauty, purpose, imagination, and creativity that to this day have left an indelible mark on many of them. Says former student Steve Raths, “Father Nevin was a gifted teacher who gave me knowledge of art that I never would have received in any other way. He had a sense of decency and fair play that I admired, and I am so grateful for the encouragement he gave me to develop my own artistic talents.”
After 28 years in the classroom, Father Nevin began to practice his art full-time in a workshop at Santa Barbara Mission. The pine stick led to bronze casting and more.
As Franciscan friars, we honor our elder brothers and are thankful for their presence in our lives. We do our best to provide for their care in places of peace, dignity, and beauty. Father Nevin, now 89, is a resident of New Bethany Care in Los Banos, California, where he continues to thrive with the support of the local friar community in nearby San Juan Bautista.
We hope you will consider making a donation in Father Nevin’s honor to support the many elders who have given their lives so that others might be enriched by God’s presence, light, and love. Thank you for your generosity and may God bless you always.
Peace and all good!
Father Dan Lackie, ofm
Office of Outreach