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Alumnus Josiah Ford collapses on a run

Fresno Christian Track and Field standout leaves legacy of faith
Josiah+Ford%2C+11%2C+with+wife+Alyssa+and+daughters+Presley+and+Penelope.
The Feather
Josiah Ford, ’11, with wife Alyssa and daughters Presley and Penelope.

Josiah Ford, ’11, a cherished husband to Alyssa and a remarkable father to their two daughters, Presley and Penelope, unexpectedly passed away on a run in the neighborhood on May 5, 2024. Ford was known for his laid-back demeanor, his faith in Jesus and his sparkling smile. He was also a humble, but fierce competitor in Track and Field.

Alumna Michelle Warkentin, ’04, coached alongside the late Ericlee Gilmore, who was the head coach in 2011 and mentor to Josiah. She said Ford was a joy to coach because he brought the perfect balance of hard work and fun to every practice and track meet.

“Josiah was outstanding athlete, leader, and friend,” Warkentin said. “Josiah had a contagious personality that drew others in.”

Ford still holds the triple jump record at Fresno Christian with a jump of 44 feet 6.75 inches. People can continue to see his name up on the record board in the FC gym since no athlete has come within even six feet of that distance. He also competed in the hurdles, long jump and relays. Track and Field Coach Dorina Gilmore-Young coached all three of the Ford siblings and said they were like family.

“I had the privilege of coaching all three of the talented Fords with my husband Ericlee,” Gilmore Young said. “Josiah was one of our all-time greatest Track and Field athletes in FCS history. I’m deeply saddened by this loss. His legacy of faith and athleticism will endure in our community.”

After graduation from Fresno Christian High School, Ford went on to compete in Track and Field at Fresno Pacific University. He was named a college All American in 2014 after placing second in the NCCAA National Track and Field Championships in Rome, Georgia. He graduated in 2015.

Ford married Alyssa on his parents anniversary, June 29, 2019. He joined the Clovis Police Department in September that same year. They have two young daughters, Presley and Penelope.

Josiah Ford is also survived by his parents Anita and Robert Ford, and his sisters Aliza and Janae, also Fresno Christian alumnae. Funeral will be held 11:30 am Friday, May 24 at Clovis Christian Church. (1701 Locan Ave. Clovis, CA 93619)

A GoFundMe campaign encourages the public to “Please consider helping this family or sharing the post. With all of the emotional pain and stress that death brings, it can also bring financial burdens. We would like to raise money for Josiah’s family and children to help with any expenses that arise with this devastating loss.”

Please join us in remembering Josiah Ford in the comments. Share a memory or word of encouragement for the family.

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  • C

    Cassidy (Hutchins) HingMay 13, 2024 at 11:12 pm

    Josiah always rolled into school in style in his orange VW bus. Of course everyone knew how great of an athlete he was, but he also was one of the hardest workers, focused and disciplined. He was a lot of fun: nerf gun fights, filming Twilight for our NOTS movie, and watching ridiculous movies like Nacho Libre or How to Train Your Dragon. I am so grateful to have known him and I am heartbroken to hear this news. Praying for Alyssa and the girls, Robert and Anita, his sisters and all those close to him in processing this news. Praying for peace that surpasses understanding.

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  • S

    Stephen GrimesMay 10, 2024 at 12:28 pm

    Josiah was one of the best friends I ever had. One thing I can say about Josiah is that he was consistent with his faith and his morals. He brought so much joy to my life and the memories we created as kids will stay with me forever. Josiah, I will miss you. I know you’re probably bringing so much happiness in Heaven right now with that picture perfect smile you have always had. Love you, buddy.

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