Ford's death Monday night was announced by House Speaker Will Weatherford.
Ford was elected to the Florida House in a special election in February 2007 to succeed Holly Benson, who vacated the seat to take a position in former Gov. Charlie Crist's cabinet. Ford also served in the Arkansas House of Representatives in the mid 1970's and was a member of the Arkansas Constitutional Convention.
A native of Wynne, Ark., Ford spent more than 30 years with the U.S. Army in varying roles on active duty and with the reserves as an infantry officer before retiring in 1988 as a colonel.
Ford is survived by his wife Carol, three sons and nine grandchildren.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or firstname.lastname@example.org.