COLUMBIA - Robert Wayne "Bob" Ford, 82, died June 19, 2011, at his home in Columbia, S.C. He was born April 22, 1929, in Philadelphia, the son of Francis Henry Wayne MacDougall and Virginia Christine Ferley MacDougall Ford. His stepfather, Walter Payne Ford Jr., was a beloved second father.
Bob grew up in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., graduating from The Peddie School in Hightstown, New Jersey. After service as a U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman and as a patrolman for the Washington, D.C., Police Department, he began a career in broadcasting, photography and journalism which lasted for nearly 60 years.
He was a popular television personality and puppeteer at television stations in Pittsburgh and in Portland,Maine. In Rock Hill, S.C., he helped the Rock Hill (S.C.) Telephone Company to establish the town's first cable television service; as chief photographer for the Rock Hill Evening Herald newspaper, he photographed many of the major events of the region's history, winning a number of local and regional awards and an award from Life magazine.
In Florida, Mr. Ford was a radio news director, a reporter for the Daytona Beach News-Journal newspaper, and he operated Bob Ford Photography. In Columbia, S.C., he was a police reporter for The State newspaper, and served as the public information officer for Lexington County (S.C.) Sheriff James R. Metts for more than ten years. After retirement in 1992, Mr. Ford carried out special projects for Richland County (S.C.) Sheriff Leon Lott, and for more than 20 years he wrote an award-winning weekly newspaper column, Bob Ford's Call the Cops.
Bob was married first to Mary Helen Pryor and later to Elizabeth Anne "Betsy" Perrone. Survivors include his widow; children, Michael Wayne (Cheryl) Ford; Robert Wayne Ford Jr.; Deborah Lee "Debi" Ford (Lou Lambruschi); Alexander Raymond (Holly) Ford; Andrew Perrone Ford (Caitlin McSherry); and Katherine Virginia Ford; grandchildren, Morgan Ford (James) Willingham, Maggie Burton (Jake) Hall, and Danielle Ford (John) Eagle; great-grandchild, Noah Mason Eagle; brother, Ronald Walter Ford (Julie Kish); and many beloved nieces and nephews in Maryland, Michigan and South Carolina. He was predeceased by brother, Raymond Drake Ford and sister-in-law Julia Buckingham Ford.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, June 25, 2011, at 3 p.m. at New Heights Church, 5501 Broad River Road, Columbia, S.C., followed by visitation time in the church social hall. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial gifts to The Peddie School, 201 South Main Street, Hightstown, NJ, 08520-3349; The Fraternal Order of Police S.C., Midlands Lodge No.1, 4965 Broad River Rd., Columbia, SC, 29212; or the Presbyterian Communities of South Carolina, 2817 Ashland Road, Columbia, SC, 29210.