Ernest Ford Jr., 63, a retired Pullman car porter and former union official who was active in civic groups, died of emphysema July 11 at D.C. General Hospital. He lived in Washington.

He was a Pullman porter for 35 years before retiring in 1981. During his last years on the job, he helped train the new Amtrak attendants who replaced the porters. He had served as secretary-treasurer of the Washington chapter of the International Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters.

Mr. Ford had served on the District's Advisory Neighborhood Council and as president of the Southeast Massachusetts Avenue Block Club. He was a past president of the McKinley Tech High School PTA. He had received awards from the NAACP for his work as a recruiter and from the D.C. City Council for his union work.

He was a member of Ward AME Church in Washington. He had participated in a Smithsonian Institution film on the history of the sleeping car porters and had contributed to the Smithsonian's oral history program.

Mr. Ford was a native of Winnsboro, S.C., and moved here and joined the railroad in 1941. He served with the Army in Europe during World War II. He resumed his career here after the war. He had attended Allen University in South Carolina and served as parliamentarian of its Washington alumni chapter.

Survivors include his wife, Chrystine, four sons, Ernest, Frederick, Harold, and Robert, and a daughter, Willa Ford, all of Washington; two brothers, Frederick, of Largo, and Paul, of Winnsboro; three sisters, Martha F. Gladden of Washington, and Blanche F. Wade and Maude F. Ross, both of Winnsboro, and two grandchildren.