Zeke Forbes honored
News Desk | 7/30/2014, 9:22 a.m.
The lobby of the Cleveland Clerk of Courts office is now the Zeke Forbes Memorial Lobby following an official dedication last Friday. Cleoford “Zeke” Forbes, who died this past May, was the first African American to serve as Clerk of Courts. Surviving members of his family attended the dedication at the Justice Center and thanked current Clerk of Courts Earle B. Turner for honoring their late relative.
“When I saw Zeke appointed to the office, it got me to thinking that it could be a good fit for me someday,” said Turner who has served 18 years as Clerk, after serving 21 years as a Cleveland City Councilman. “Once I became Clerk, Zeke used to talk to me a lot about the office. But, he always emphasized the importance of family. He told me to make sure I took care of them first, and saved money for them.” Turner told members of his staff, “Someone paves the way for all of us,” he said as he stood next to George Forbes, Zeke’s younger brother. Turner said George was his political mentor when he began his career in government.
George unveiled the new memorial plaque in the Clerk’s second floor lobby. “Zeke was the first to come to Cleveland; and then he got me to come,” said George, former Cleveland City Council President and former President of the Cleveland N.A.A.C.P. “Zeke would have loved this” said George referring to the memorial plaque.
Clerk Turner plans to honor all former clerks on the wall where the plaque hangs.