Holding the country together in tough times.
The pardon was VERY unpopular, but in retrospect it was probably better than a drawn out trial - the country was in economic trouble and it was during the cold war. And while many feel Nixon escaped justice by staying out of jail, his grave misdeeds will be well known by all humankind, for all of history. That sounds like a pretty sufficient judgment to me - I wouldn't want my worst moments to be publicized like that.
America was really at a low ebb. Vietnam, Watergate, Stagflation, gas lines. Ford was not a visionary or a particularly dynamic leader - how could he be, when he hadn't even wanted the job? But he was generally deemed honest and competent, even if just barely so by some. After Nixon, anything would be better, and he seemed to restore dignity to the office. I remember he vetoed a lot of bills, so I suppose he actively battled congress over certain issues.
Maybe he was a caretaker, and not one of the greats. He himself said "I'm a Ford, not a Lincoln." But he seemed to give us what we needed. No Republican was going to win in 1976, and Ford made blunders in the debates. But he came very close to winning! Maybe in retrospect he would have been much better than Carter.
I also remember that there did not seem to be the vicious hatred that there was against Nixon, Clinton, Bush 43 and (to a degree) Carter and Reagan. In these days, having a president who is not absolutely hated by a large segment of the population seems like a plus!
There were some lighthearted White House moments too, like when the Queen visited and one of Ford's kids was running around half-dressed before a dinner and accidentally ran into her. We also had the Bicentennial celebration, which was a nice national pick-me-up. The Ford family seemed like decent people, and were a nice relief from the Johnson and Nixon years.