Life Story for
Roberta Cord (Tilford)
Mrs. Roberta Jewel Tilford Cord, 91, formerly of Switzerland County, Indiana, passed away at 4:45 p.m., Monday, March 26, 2018 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Roberta was born on January 24, 1927, in Cecilia, Kentucky in Hardin County to Thomas Hendrix Tilford and Cora Ellen Farmer Tilford. She graduated from Howe Valley High School in 1944 at the age of sixteen. She then attended Sullivan Business College in Louisville, Kentucky and during World War II worked for a loan company. She met the love of her life, William Henry Cord, of Ewing, Kentucky after he returned home from World War II. They were married on July 3, 1947 in Jeffersonville, Indiana, and in 1949 welcomed their first child, William Tilford Cord. Shortly thereafter they moved to a hill farm located in Switzerland County where they raised tobacco, cattle, and sheep. A daughter, Kathleen, was born to the farm family in 1952. As a farm wife, Roberta also worked at the U.S. Shoe Corporation in Vevay, Indiana before beginning a college career at Hanover College in Hanover, Indiana at the age of thirty. She graduated from Hanover College with a degree in elementary education in 1961. That same year she began teaching at Jefferson Craig Elementary in Vevay, Indiana. She continued teaching there until 1965 at which time she had also earned a master’s degree in school administration from Indiana University, Bloomington. In 1965 Mrs. Cord became the principal of Jefferson Craig Elementary School. She had the distinction of being Switzerland County’s first certificated “lady principal.” During the summer months she was employed as the director of the Head Start program of the Office of Equal Opportunity working in Ohio, Ripley, Dearborn and Switzerland Counties to establish and implement this totally new educational program for preschool children. She was also instrumental in establishing enrollment in special education programs when such classes became a requirement in Indiana, as well as initiating new programs under Title 1 in 1965. From 1970-1975, Mrs. Cord became the first Switzerland County School Corporation curriculum coordinator, serving as the federal programs and Chapter 1 director and grant writer. Five years later she became the principal and teacher at Florence Elementary School in Florence, Indiana. In the late 1970’s plans began to be developed for a new elementary school in East Enterprise, Indiana which would consolidate four small county schools. Mrs. Cord was hired as the first principal of this new facility, Switzerland County Elementary School, in 1980. She retired from this position in 1990. Good, honest, hard work defined her character, and she maintained an unfailing positive attitude after retirement and later after the death of her husband on February 1, 2013. Later she would live in an assisted-living center, Brentwood Senior Living Community, and later in a nursing facility, Menorah Manor, in St. Petersburg, Florida, where her family used to vacation during the winter. Mrs. Cord lived her life with grace, optimism and dignity and dedicated herself to her students. She was known for her generosity and often donated personal items for children who were without and worked tirelessly to ensure her students’ well being and educational success. She often communicated with family and school patrons through personal letters and cards and visited community members facing daunting hardships in life. She had several hobbies and pastimes, but gained the greatest pleasure from real accomplishments in the area of education for Switzerland County’s youth and adults. She loved her rural Indiana farm and working with her husband on it for as long as their health allowed. She particularly loved her farm animals and pets. Roberta was a longtime member of Tri Kappa and the Eggleston Club of Switzerland County as well as of the Indiana State Teachers’ and Principals’ Associations, Switzerland County Classroom Teacher Association, and the Indiana and Switzerland County Retired Teachers’ Association. Roberta and her family were affiliated with the Long Run Baptist in Switzerland County for many years.
Robert is survived by her son, William Tilford Cord and his wife Jill, of Switzerland County; her daughter, Kathleen Cash and husband Frank, of St. Petersburg, Florida; and two grandsons, Adam Christopher Cord and wife Danelle of Jefferson City, Missouri and Jonathan Cord Houghton of Tampa Bay, Florida. She is also survived by one sister, Wanda White and husband Arthur, of Alexandria, Virginia, and several nieces and nephews
She was preceded in death by her parents, Thomas Tilford and Cora Ellen Tilford; her husband, William Henry Cord, (to whom she was married sixty-six years); her sister Frances Klinglesmith; and by her brother, Thomas Tilford.
Funeral services will be conducted Tuesday, April 3, 2018, at 2:00 pm, by Pastor KC Banta and Tom Rogers, at the Haskell & Morrison Funeral Home, 208 Ferry Street Vevay, Indiana 47043.
Interment will follow in the Vevay Cemetery, Vevay, Indiana.
Friends may call 10:00 am - 2:00 pm, Tuesday, April 3, 2018, at the Haskell & Morrison Funeral Home, 208 Ferry Street Vevay, Indiana 47043.
Memorial contributions may be made to Long Run Baptist Church. Cards are available at the funeral home.