Joanne Baumunk Ford


On September 5, 2022, Joanne Baumunk Ford died of ovarian cancer at the age of 89. She was the wife of Kenneth Ford, a former president of New Mexico Tech.

During her time in Socorro from 1975 to 1982, she devoted considerable time and effort to children’s causes. One of her achievements was successfully advocating for building a children’s playground on the university campus. The Joanne B. Ford Playground on Olive Lane is named in her honor. She also volunteered to read stories to children at the library and worked at a local private school. She performed in numerous musicals at New Mexico Tech, belonged to the university folk dancing group, and organized a weekly Society of Friends (Quaker) meeting in her home.

Joanne was born in Forksville, Pennsylvania in 1932 to Lawrence and Caroline Baumunk and graduated from Boston University in 1954. She worked as a bank teller and later as an elementary school teacher.

Joanne and Kenneth married in 1962. Besides living in New Mexico, they lived in Massachusetts, California, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. She enjoyed photography and playing the recorder. She made many friends in all the places she lived. In her later life, she moved to Philadelphia and focused on environmental activities. She was a volunteer tour guide at both Morris Arboretum and Awbury Arboretum. She was active in the Society of Friends for much of her life and was involved in many causes promoting peace. She was devoted to her seven children, 13 grandchildren, three step-grandchildren, and two step great-grandchildren.

Survivors include her husband of 60 years, Kenneth Ford; her children Nina Tannenwald, Caroline Richards (Keith), Adam Ford, Jason Ford (Abigail), and Star Ford (Crystal); and her stepchildren Paul Ford (Wendy White) and Sarah Ford-Monroe (Nick). She was preceded in death by her brother Dale Baumunk and her first husband Peter Tannenwald.

Joanne Ford will have a headstone in her memory at the village cemetery in Shunk, Pennsylvania.