Robert E. Ford

February 11, 1944December 22, 2018
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Robert Eugene Ford, age 74, of Port Orange, Florida passed away on Saturday December 22, 2018. Robert was born February 11, 1944.

The family has asked that in lieu of flowers a donation be made to assist students at Bob's undergraduate alma mater:

Robert Ford Memorial Fund P.O. Box 2008 Niagara University, NY 14109

A celebration of life for Robert will be held Saturday, January 12, 2019, at 2 PM at Volusia Memorial Funeral Home, 4815 S Clyde Morris Blvd, Port Orange, Florida 32129.

Robert E. Ford was born in New York City on February 11, 1944. His parents were the late Mary Walsh and Eugene Ford. Bob’s father had been declared ”missing” in World War II, but was eventually located and returned to his wife, Mary, and infant son, Bob. Bob was the eldest of five; he has four sisters: Mary Beth (Dishinger), Eugenia (Quinn), Debbie (Neuhaus) and Theresa (Colotti). Bob alternately played practical jokes upon the girls or served as big brother defender.

Bob attended St. Dominic High School on Long Island. He then attended Maryknoll College in Glen Ellen (IL) where he studied for the priesthood. Bob left the monastery after two years and enrolled in Niagara University (NY) where he earned a Bachelors degree in Sociology, magna cum laude. It was at Niagara University that his interest in criminology was ignited. Bob pursued graduate studies at the University of Illinois-Champaign/Urbana, earning both masters and doctoral degrees in Sociology. During his graduate studies Bob worked with the Chicago police department and he was a National Institute of Mental Health Fellow.

Following graduate school, Bob taught criminology at the State University of New York-Buffalo for 8 years. He left full-time academia to become the third in command at the Erie County Sheriff’s Department (Buffalo, NY), until he was selected as Commissioner of Central Police Services for Erie County. The modified metropolitan police agency provided a forensic laboratory, police training academy, computer system, and 9-1-1 and radio system for the county’s 27 municipal police agencies and sheriff. Bob missed street-level policing and came to the Port Orange Police Department in 1986. He was Police Chief through January 1999 and then Director Police Services for the City until August 1999. Upon retirement from policing, Bob turned to his other career love - education. Bob taught criminal justice and research at the University of Central Florida until 2016. Bob first ran for Port Orange City Council in 2010 and was in his third term as the District 1 Councilman at the time of his death. Bob has two adult children, Shannon and Kerrie. He also leaves his wife of 34½ years, Marilyn. Although a cop at heart, Bob was also a Renaissance man, known for his wide-ranging knowledge, his love of gardening, and robust Irish wit that made any story just a little bit bigger and better.


  • Celebration of Life Saturday, January 12, 2019

Robert E. Ford

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Stephen Schoenthaler

January 26, 2019

Bob was my advisor and dissertation chair at SUNY Buffalo just before he left for the sheriff's department. He was the most influential educator in my life. I became a criminologist too having a long career as an educator and scholar about to retire next year. I wanted to call him, and tell him how much he meant to me, and how I still share our experiences together with today's criminology students. Our criminological research even led to a breakthrough in reducing violence by deterrence that had national ramifications due to our work in the 1982.

I miss him. I wanted to call him to tell him how much I appreciated all he did for me at Christmas, and the friendship we shared away from work, but then I found out he had passed on and I was a few days too late.

I will miss you Bob. Rest easy. My condolences to your wife and family. Hopefully, there is a bit of comfort knowing that his influences on others a half century ago continues today in my classrooms.

Professor Stephen Schoenthaler, Ph.D.
Department of Sociology
California State University, Stanislaus
Turlock, Ca

Karol Lucken

January 8, 2019

To the family and close friends of Bob Ford. I am sorry for your loss. Bob was an off-campus/long distance colleague of mine at UCF. I only had the opportunity to see him a few times a year at meetings, but my distinct recollection of him was that he was genuine and kind.

Kathy Cratin

January 4, 2019

My thoughts and prayers are with you, when you go through this new journey.
Kathy Cratin

Angela Edwards-Johnson

January 3, 2019

It was a blessing to work with Dr. Ford in his capacity as a UCF faculty member. He was truly committed to his students, and was a constant source of support and encouragement to his UCF family. His light will be missed. God Bless Marilyn Ford and family. Love, Angela

Patricia LaMountain

December 31, 2018

Councilman Ford Family

The VIPS will miss speaking with him as there has always been much history there.

For his years of service as Police Chief and then as Councilman to the City.

My condolences to the family he will be greatly missed.

Major LaMountain

Jeff and Jo Ann Schwartz

December 30, 2018

Dear Mrs. Dr.Ford and Family,
Please, know that Chief and Councilman Bob Ford had great influence in his manner and method of conversing with the V.I.P.'s of which I have been for a number of years.
Chief Ford made us Proud of what we do ; as he attended so many of our monthly meetings.
His telling of episodes to us ; making us feel as though we were integral part of the whole policing team.
Losing councilman and chief Ford will be a vacuum for those of us still here; BUT, The Lord will have a dedicated ,loving, hero to welcome to Heaven.
With Sincere Sympathy and Humility ,
Jeff and Jo Ann Schwartz

Anita & Mark Weinstein

December 29, 2018

Marilyn. Anita and I only saw you and Bob on your visits to Mary and Bob, but the time spent speaking with him on a beautiful late summer night at the Club, revealed a thoughtful, opinionated, well informed , and interesting man. We laughed even where we disagreed. Agreed and pondered solutions . Shared “war” stories and experiences. May his love help you in this sad time.
Mark Weinstein

Philip Chandler

December 24, 2018

Dear Marilyn and Family,
May God's Comforting Spirit keep your hearts in Peace during this time of grief and sorrow over Bob's passing Such a wonderful husband and human being.