Clare Ford - age: 28
(June 30, 1988 to June 09, 2017
A memorial service will be held Sunday, June 18th from 1:30 pm to 5 pm with a time of sharing at 2:30 pm at
Benson Family Funeral Home
3224 W. Montrose Avenue
Chicago, IL 60618
Clare Ford was born on June 30, 1988 and grew up with their mother, Karen Roach, in Schererville, Indiana along with her sister Natalie. They graduated from the Indiana Academy of Science, Mathematics and Humanities and Purdue University.
Clare’s time at Purdue University was profound. They studied Women’s Studies and Creative Writing, protested anti-LGBTQIA policies and advocated to protect their fellow LGBTQIA classmates. They pressed for the creation of the Purdue University LGBTQIA center, authoring foundational documents. The center would not have opened when it did and would not be what it is without Clare’s contributions. LGBTQIA students at Purdue University will benefit from their hard work for years and decades to come.
Clare delayed completing their degree to take care of their terminally ill mother. Years later, through dedication and hard work, they completed their degree and become an alumni of Purdue University. In March of 2017, they visited a truly changed campus - visibly proud transgender and queer students, a new LGBTQIA center, and a thriving Black Cultural Center. They were very proud of their accomplishments.
After Purdue, Clare worked for Charles Schwab first in Indianapolis, then in Chicago. They were a derivatives trading specialist and were quickly promoted to a coaching and training role. They were frequently recognized for their excellent work, including selection for the Schwab Chairman’s Club Award in 2017, the most prestigious prize Schwab employees can earn.
Clare's generosity of spirit touched many people around them as well, inspiring them to contribute their time and money to many causes. They co-chaired the Schwab Chicago Pride Committee and were active in Women in Listed Derivatives. They also organized dozens of events for their co-workers and volunteered regularly with Big Shoulders Fund, teaching school children financial skills.
Clare had a great love for art and poetry and loved to attend art galleries and poetry readings. Among their favorite spaces were the Atwood Gallery, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago. Clare especially loved the works of Andrea Gibson and the poem “The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock,” by T.S. Eliot. Clare enjoyed writing their own poetry and letters containing their feelings to others.
At the core of Clare’s being was a great capacity to love and cherish many people so very deeply. Clare was polyamorous and queer.
Clare met their husband, Josh Johnson, during a vacation in Hawaii in 2013 where they quickly fell in love. Josh joined Clare in Chicago and they married in December of 2014. They found in each other true soulmates, best friends, and committed life partners. They shared every detail of their lives, every joy, sorrow and frustration while growing older, stronger and wiser together. Josh and Clare were active members of Chicago polyamorous community.
In May of 2016, Clare also fell in love with Sarah Kaylor. The couple enjoyed sharing queer spaces and events, crafting, and playing board games together. Those who were loved by Clare and who loved Clare were incredibly blessed to have them in their lives. Clare was a wonderful, supportive, and affirming partner.
Clare is survived by their husband Josh, partner Sarah, other loving partner, sister Natalie, step-mother Melissa and many dear friends, chosen family and colleagues.