We're remembering an award-winning photographer and Carbon County icon.

Bob Ford passed away Saturday, due to complications from COVID-19.

His work spans decades. He worked for the Times News since 2002. During his career, he touched the lives of many, through both his work and his character.

Tributes poured in across social media over the weekend.

"It's such a sad, tremendous loss for the area, for the kids, for the coverage and everything he brought to anybody he came in contact with," said Kyle Spotts, athletic director for Lehighton Area School District.

While he leaves behind a legacy through his photos, Bob wasn't just a man with a camera. He was a figurehead of Carbon County, and an artist behind the lens.

"He just had the innate ability to just capture the moment. His photos told a story," said Emmett McCall, sports editor at the Times News.

His work was a special part of the game for our student-athletes and their schools.

"He had a tendency to capture moments that were awesome and get shots that were great and the athletes loved it," said Spotts.

It was a way for them to freeze time through their high school careers, and cherish a game-winning touchdown, clutch three-pointer, team victory, forever.

"You looked at the photo and see somebody catching the ball in the corner of the end zone, and just knew the story behind it," said McCall.

While many knew him for his sports photography, Bob touched every page of the Times News, and every person in its newsroom.

"Whether you were out for a drink, or  you're covering a sporting event or you're sitting around the newsroom, Bob was just the person you wanted to be with to have a good time," said McCall.

He was a friend to every colleague and member of the community he met.

"Especially being younger, I didn't know a lot of the coaches and kids yet but just having Bob there to talk to and joke around with and have fun during the slow times just made me feel good and that I wasn't there alone," said Ryan Scheidt, videographer at BRC TV-13.

And when he was off the clock, it wasn't unusual to spot the Jim Thorpe resident on the deck of Molly Maguires.

"When you've been in business as long as we have, the word 'customer' takes on a whole new definition," said Darren Behan, co-owner of Molly Maguires Pub & Steakhouse.

To the restaurant staff, Bob was more than that. He was a part of their family.

"He would not be afraid to engulf in conversation, whether you were a local customer, tourist, he was very fun to be around, always cracking jokes, making people laugh," said Behan.

A father, husband, colleague, friend, community staple--gone too soon.

"Just saying he's going to be missed is an understatement, without question," said Behan.