|Birth: ||Jun. 28, 1930|
|Death: ||Apr. 9, 2008|
San Diego County
By Sherry Saavedra UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
April 15, 2008
Paul William Fordem didn't just profess love for his country. He showcased it.He sported an American flag pin on his lapel. Every day.He had a flag decal on his car. And each morning he would raise a 60-foot flag in front of his La Mesa home before heading to work. "As a teenager, I was like 'you've got to be kidding,' " said his son, Rick Fordem of Fletcher Hills. "At the time, I didn't realize . . . he loved family and America more than any human I've run across." Mr. Fordem, a former La Mesa mayor and county supervisor, died Wednesday of congestive heart failure at Sharp Hospice Care Lake View Home. He was 77.
He was born June 28, 1930, in Galion, Ohio. He lived above a modest family-owned grocery store.Mr. Fordem moved to San Diego in 1944 and attended Point Loma High School, where he met his wife, Patricia Jacobsen.He spent the decade after graduation trying to find his calling. He sold candy, sewing machines and automobiles. He did construction and house painting – sometimes working two and three jobs. He earned his pilot's license and loved aviation, but never worked as a pilot.Then he met Charles Fletcher, founder of Home Federal Savings and Loan Association, and his life took a turn. Fletcher hired him as an appraiser at age 29, and though Mr. Fordem had no college degree, he worked his way up to vice president.With a solid career, he was ready for political life."He felt, I've attained everything I need, and now it's my turn to give back to my country," Rick Fordem said. Mr. Fordem was elected to the La Mesa City Council in 1972, and served as mayor from 1974 to 1980. He was elected to the 2nd District seat on the county Board of Supervisors in 1980 with the help of the Moral Majority, defeating incumbent Lucille Moore.He gained a reputation as a conservative Republican who stirred some controversy by aligning himself with evangelistic Christian causes.Jim Sills, his former campaign consultant and chief aide, described Mr. Fordem as a "Reagan conservative.""When Reagan was campaigning for governor in San Diego, Paul had a beautiful 1959 convertible Ford," Sills recalled. "And Reagan would be sitting on the back of the back seat waving as Paul was driving."Walt Ekard, the county's chief administrative officer, started in county government as a campaign volunteer for Mr. Fordem, then aide. He described Mr. Fordem as "an honorable guy who fessed up if he made a mistake." In 1984, Mr. Fordem dropped his re-election bid for health reasons.
He is survived by his wife, Patricia Fordem of Borrego Springs; son, Rick Fordem; daughter, Debie Dillahunt of La Mesa; five grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.A service is planned at 2 p.m. today at El Cajon-Lakeside-Santee Mortuary & Cremation Service, 684 S. Mollison Ave. Interment will follow at Alpine Cemetery, 2495 W. Victoria Drive, Alpine.The family suggests donations to Sharp HospiceCare LakeView Home, P.O. Box 3739, La Mesa, CA 91944.
Clifford G Fordem (1896 - 1966)
Luris G Fordem (1901 - ____)
San Diego County
Maintained by: Pat McArron
Originally Created by: Glenn Joiner
Record added: Dec 27, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 82451043