Realtors celebrate 50 years

By Lenny C. Lepola -

In 1966, Ted L. Forman put a For Sale sign in the ground and Forman Realtors was born.

A Sunbury native, Ted Forman was born a twin in a small house in the village and was raised in Sunbury in part by his uncle Frank Stelzer due to family losses, including the eventual loss of his single mother.

His granddaughter Kelly Forman, in a recent press release, said Ted was grateful for the way the Sunbury community invested in him as a child and young man, and he dedicated his life to giving back to the community.

“Ted married Betty (Jones) Forman, and they raised four children, educating them in the Big Walnut school system,” Kelly said. “He was an entrepreneur and started Forman Realtors with the intent to buy, sell, build, and develop both residential and commercial properties.

“That was his day job,” Kelly continued. “At night, Ted worked for 28 years as a janitor for Sunbury Savings and Loan, now the location of Chase Bank on Sunbury Square. Through that job he was eventually asked to become a founding board member of New Albany Savings and Loan.”

Kelly said Ted was also instrumental in founding the Delaware County Board of Realtors and served on the Big Walnut Local School District Board of Education. He was an active member of the Sunbury Lions Club all his life and built the Lions Building at JR Smith Park.

“Ted’s success at Forman Realtors and beyond came from his forward-thinking vision, unwavering strength, and endless generosity,” Kelly said. “He worked seven days a week year round and helped anyone and everyone he could. He loved to see people getting into their own homes and was known to give or loan down payments to his clients.”

Kelly said Ted Forman’s development efforts created many jobs in Sunbury. He brought in companies like American Showa, BryAir, Inland Finishing, and Kintner Industries. He built part of the Nestle’s Warehouse and the current Big Walnut Intermediate School. Ted also built hundreds of custom homes and planned or developed areas like Barleycorn, Greenbrier Road, Cupstone Drive, Foxboro, and the Kintner Parkways. He also developed Walnutview Drive, where he eventually retired.

Mike Forman, Ted’s oldest son, joined Forman Realtors as a young man and worked alongside his father all of his life. Mike is currently the managing broker and is joined by his children, Martin Forman and Kelly Forman, who are also both realtors. The Forman Realtors team today also includes Steve Barbeau, Jennifer Fielding, Mike Pankuch, Linda Wehrle, Roland Higgins, and Don Poland.

“Forman Realtors continues to grow as we celebrate our 50th year,” Kelly said. “In celebration, we’ve already joined parades in Utica, Centerburg, and of course the Sunbury Bicentennial Fourth of July Parade. You’ll find us at the All Horse Parade in Delaware, celebrating the Big Walnut Homecoming, and at Sunbury’s Christmas on the Square.”

Kelly said in addition to Forman Realtors sponsoring numerous community activities that can be found at the Big Walnut Sunbury Chamber of Commerce and Big Walnut Civic Association websites, two local Forman Realtors 50th anniversary events are on the immediate horizon.

“A Night of Laughter is our biggest event,” Kelly said. “A Night of Laughter with comedian Taylor Mason will be presented this Saturday evening at Big Walnut High School, with 100 percent of ticket proceeds funding scholarships for local students through the Big Walnut Education Foundation. A Night of Laughter is sponsored by Forman Realtors in celebration of our 50th year, and also in honor of our founder, Ted Forman, who consistently invested in local youth and whose legacy we carry on with pride.”

A separate story on Mason appears in this edition of The Sunbury News.

Kelly also noted the Forman Realtors Bicentennial Beard Contest with before photos taken at the Saturday, August 27, Sunbury Sizzle & Sound and after photos taken on Saturday, December 3, at Christmas on the Square.

By Lenny C. Lepola