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Weekend drowning claims life of local man

'He loved everything to do with the water'

June 02, 2010 - The Memorial Day weekend turned tragic for the family of Oxford Township resident, Brent Alan Ford, 25. Ford died early Sunday morning, after he was found floating in Scripter Park Lake the evening before.

"The medical examiners have determined Mr. Ford's death was accidental drowning," Oxford Police Chief Mike Neymanowski said, Monday morning. Neymanowski also said it appears Ford experienced a seizure while swimming.

"The M.E. ruled out drugs or alcohol as causing the accident," the chief added.

According to reports, the Oxford Police Department was called to the popular village beach at 6:10 p.m. on Saturday, May 28, for a possible drowning. He was found unconscious in the water near the beach. CPR was administered and he was transported to Pontiac Osteopathic Hospital, where he passed away almost seven hours later.

According Sheryl Ford, her son Brent had a recent history of seizures. "He had them the last couple of years -- about once a year. He was not on medication (for the seizures)."

Before heading to Scripter Park with a couple of friends, he had spent the day helping his mother do yard work.

"I was a little worried because it was so hot that day," she said. She said her son was last seen in about knee-deep water, while his friends were sunning themselves on the beach.

Mrs. Ford said her son, the oldest of three sons to she and husband, David, loved life, and being outside -- especially in the summer.

"He loved everything to do with the water, and he loved life," she said, adding he loved to captain the family pontoon boat on Squaw Lake.

Her son had been out of work for the last month, laid off from a company that made parts for Ford and Chrysler.

"He was going to an interview for a job in Lapeer today (Tuesday)," she said.

On Memorial Day, about 50 gathered at Scripter Park for a candlelight vigil in his honor.

"I was surprised," his mother Sheryl Ford said. "He would help anybody. I was surprised by how many people he had positively affected. There was such a postive energy at the vigil . . . all these young people, it was really very nice."

A 2003 Oxford High School graduate, Ford was fondly remembered.

"He was a good kid," Oxford Principal Michael Schweig said. "He had a lot of friends and I personally got along with him."

Lynn Mott-Oermann, a social worker for the district said he was, "kind-hearted, and a hard worker. He would go the extra mile for people."

Ford's was one of five water-related accidental deaths across the state this past holiday weekend. According to reports by the Detroit News, those who died ranged in age from 12-to 41-years-old. Around noon Tuesday, divers found the body of a 55-year-old man in Lake Michigan; the man was reported missing on Sunday.

* * *

Funeral services for Ford are today (Wednesday, June 2) at 11 a.m., at the Modetz Funeral Home, 100 E. Silverbell Rd., in Orion Township.

He is survived by his parents, David and Sheryl Ford and two younger brothers, Jason and Ryan.

He is the grandson of Gilbert and Betty Kloss and William (and the late) Mary Jane Ford. He is also survived by many aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Suggested memorials to the family.

On-line guest book www.modetzfuneralhomes.com.

Don is Assistant Publisher for Sherman Publications, Inc. He has worked for the company since 1985. He has won numerous awards for column, editorial and feature writing as well as for photography. He has two, sons Shamus and Sean and resides in the area. To read archived copies of his columns, click on his name, just under his picture up top . . . He can be e-mailed at: don@dontrushmedon.com
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