Robert Whitman Fornes

Robert ‘Bob’ W. Fornes, 85, of St. Cloud, Florida, a beloved husband, father, brother, uncle, grandfather, and great-grandfather, and dedicated public servant, passed away peacefully on February 21, 2024, surrounded by his family.

His departure leaves a profound void in the hearts of those who knew him, yet his legacy will endure through the lives he touched and the contributions he made to his community. Bob was born on October 1, 1938, in Kissimmee, Florida. After graduating from Osceola High School in 1956, he went on to learn many trades until finding his passion in law enforcement that would exemplify his sense of duty and honor. In 1958, Bob met and married Margie Parsons and went on to have three children, Debbie, Randy, and Mike.

In 1961, Bob answered the call to protect and serve as a police officer for the Kissimmee Police Department, where he quickly distinguished himself through his dedication and professionalism. His exemplary service led him to join the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, where he would serve with distinction for many years. During his tenure with the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, Bob rose through the ranks, ultimately achieving the position of Chief Deputy—a role he held for sixteen years. It was during this time that he pursued further education and training, graduating from the prestigious FBI National Academy, a testament to his commitment to excellence and lifelong learning.

In 1984, Bob assumed the mantle of leadership as the Osceola County Sheriff, a position he held with honor and dedication until 1988. His tenure as sheriff was marked by his unwavering dedication to upholding justice, promoting community safety, and fostering positive relationships between law enforcement and the residents they served. After his retirement, he worked for Terry’s Electric and the Osceola County Property Appraiser’s office. In 2005, he fully retired and spent time with family in Tennessee and in Florida. Beyond his professional accomplishments, Bob’s greatest source of pride and joy was his family.

He is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Margie, and his German Shepherd, Susie. His children: Debbie (Rusty) Smallwood, Randy (Jennifer) Fornes, and Mike (Catrina) Fornes. His grandchildren: Andy Smallwood and Matthew (Cheyenne) Smallwood [Debbie’s children]; Paul (Stella) Fornes, Jacob (Samantha) Fornes, Jordan Stock, Taylor Rambo, Ty Fornes, Corbin Fornes [Randy’s children]; Biggie and Ringo [Mike’s Furbabies]. His legacy extends to his great-grandchildren: Emberly Faye (Matt’s child); Pierce and Charlton (Paul’s children); and Rayleigh, Hunter, Avery (Jordan’s children). He is also survived by his brother Joseph (Beverly) Fornes, his sister Judy (Don) Fisher, and brother Larry (Tina) Taggett as well as several nieces, nephews, cousins, and many friends.

Bob Fornes will be remembered not only for his remarkable career in law enforcement but also for his kindness, integrity, and commitment to his family and community. His legacy serves as a beacon of inspiration for future generations, reminding us of all the profound impact one individual can make through a life dedicated to service and compassion.

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