‹ Return to Current Obituaries

Order Flowers now for guaranteed delivery before John's visitation.

John Francis Forbes

John Francis Forbes, 80, of Norfolk passed away at home overlooking his beloved Chesapeake Bay on December 28, 2020.

John served his country in the U.S. Marine Corps and spend most of his life protecting his community as 35-year veteran of the Norfolk Fire Department. He retired from the fire service as Deputy Chief of the Coral Springs Fire Department in Florida. He was born in New London, Connecticut, the oldest child and only son of Julian Forbes and Sophie Jorsz (nee) and was raised in Norfolk. He graduated from Norview High in 1958.

John was predeceased by his parents and two sisters, Lydia Herman and Margaret Forbes. He is survived by his wife of 55 years and the love of his life, Barbara Gibbs Forbes, three children Teresa Stephens (Craig), Christina Pullen (Phil), both of Chesapeake, and Steven Forbes of Norfolk; sister Katherine Estes (Jim) of Chesapeake; grandchildren, Isaac Fields, Phillip Pullen, Leslie Pullen, Grace Pullen, and Gregory Forbes; and a large extended family he loved and who loved him.

John was a servant of the Lord, grateful for a wonderful life and immensely proud of his family. Our family has been blessed beyond measure by this extraordinary man who taught us by example strength, character, service, integrity, compassion and fairness.

John was a husband, father, warrior, mentor, hero. Through his deep love for Barbara and his children, his years of service to his community and his selfless and noble character, he taught us how to love deeply and widely, and serve others regardless of background or circumstances. He was the calm in a storm, and rationality in chaos. He was loved dearly and will be greatly missed.

Rest now John, you have fought the good fight, finished the race and kept the faith. Welcome to the Kingdom of Heaven good and faithful servant.

Due to COVID, a memorial service for John will be held at a later date. Online condolences can be made at RWBakerFH.com

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John Forbes, please visit our flower store.


You will be greatly missed. Love you.

Craig Stephens May 13 2021 12:00 AM

My very deepest sympathy to the family, friends and all who were blessed to know Mr Forbes. I'm grateful for the many memories growing up around Mr Forbes and seeing him just in October. You are so loved and will be greatly missed. Theresa Milburn

Theresa Milburn May 13 2021 12:00 AM

Thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends, co-workers and community!! I worked with Captain Forbes on special assignment in the Research and Development Dept of Norfolk Fire Rescue. It was a honor to know and work with him. Godspeed on your new journey. Rest Easy Sir, We have your watch now

Lori Ragland May 13 2021 12:00 AM

Semper Fi Marine, Rip.

A. Marine May 13 2021 12:00 AM

Such a beautiful goodbye to John. You are all in my thoughts at this sorrowful time. Rest easy, John

Owen Pitchford May 13 2021 12:00 AM

So sorry for the loss of a wonderful man, John Forbes. He was always a gentleman and yet such a funny character. The complete package, kind, loving family man, great sense of humor and lots of fun, and a consummate firefighter. An officer worthy of respect and admiration. Please know, Barbara, that you and your children have our sympathy, empathy and loving wishes for consolation. If theres anything we can do to help, please reach out to us. Steve and Bonnie Klemstine

Steve and Bonnie Klemstine May 13 2021 12:00 AM

An old friend from the past. He always had a smile on his face and always put a smile on mine.

Jean Hollingsworth May 13 2021 12:00 AM

My thoughts and prayers are with you all. John will always be remembered for his dedication to family, friends, abs community. I am blessed for the ability to have spent many hours working with him. God Speed and rest in eternal peace. Denise

Denise Asaro Hall May 13 2021 12:00 AM

John was an excellent leader, one that you wanted to be with when you arrived at any type of incident. He commanded a rare form of respect amongst those that have really known what it is like to spend hours working along side others. John is the original firefighter emoji. Merci mon ami

Rodger Spruill May 13 2021 12:00 AM

John was an excellent human being; he was always a gentleman to me and to my mom. His relationship with his grandson Gregory was out of this world. I will always keep his memory on Gregorys life. Rest In Peace.

Lorena Solorzano Prez, Vianney Prez and Gregory Forbes May 13 2021 12:00 AM