Dr. James Robert Forstner (1947 - 2017)

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  • "my memory of Bob is from a drug rep who visited me in the..."
    - colin jones
  • "I will always remember him as my smartest friend in high..."
    - Claiborne Ray
  • "Dr. Forstner was our doctor for 35 years. He was a very..."
    - ruth mathis
  • "Rest in peace. John and Betty Oldham(Oak Island,NC."
    - John Oldham
  • "To Bob's Family: It took my breath away to hear of Bob's..."
    - Cindy Aubrey Speicher
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James Robert Forstner
AIKEN - Dr. James Robert Forstner, known to many as Bob, departed this life Monday, May 29, 2017, in the early afternoon at Lower Cape Fear Hospice at Bolivia. His death at age 70 ended an extended and determined battle with cancer, which he fought with dignity and grace.Bob was born January 9, 1947, in Los Angeles, California, to James Lee and Emily (Lipford) Forstner of Canoga Park, California. After brief years there and in Boston, Massachusetts, the family settled in Aiken, South Carolina, where he spent his teen years, graduating as salutatorian from Aiken Senior High School in 1964.
In Aiken, Bob was recognized not only as a gifted scholar and orator, but a leader and entrepreneurial youth who was active at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Augusta, Georgia, in Aiken Community Theater, as well as in high school and community enrichments. He attended Boys State as well as two summers of math and science camps at Kansas State University. In 1969, he graduated Princeton University with a bachelor of arts degree in Biology, then attended the School of Medicine of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to earn his Doctorate of Medicine in 1973.
Bob completed his medical residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Los Angeles County - University of Southern California Medical Center, earned board certification in Family Medicine, and after time caring for the under-served population of Centreville, Mississippi, he moved to Southport. Here he established a family practice that would serve the community for nearly 40 years. He was an active member of the Medical Staff at Dosher Memorial Hospital in Southport for over 30 years. He proudly served on the Brunswick County Board of Education, seeking to improve education for local students. Bob had a devoted team of office staff who supported him personally and professionally, many for decades, and remained his friends until the end.
Like his great-uncle and great-grandfather before him, Bob viewed his profession as a public service and felt medicine was his calling. Young patients from his early practice still remember finding their photos proudly posted on his office bulletin board. Several physicians credit their professional course to being his patient or learning from him, including several who provided care to him during his final illness.
Until the end of his professional career, Bob still made house calls on patients who were unable to come to his office. Both of his sons proudly followed him into the health care world in different ways, and currently work for hospitals that provide care to all members of their communities.
Bob remained fascinated by life; he was energized by learning and sharing what he discovered. A caregiver to everyone he knew, he was a natural teacher, raconteur, collector and storyteller. In recent years Bob traveled nationally and worldwide with his partner Jane and family members, savoring the people they met and natural wonders everywhere. During his life, his visited nearly every continent and some of the most remote places on Earth. Most recently he delighted in family-especially watching his children, granddaughters and nieces flourish-and in the quiet and consistent love of cherished friends, the seashore, SCUBA and snorkeling, and wood-turning.
Bob was preceded in death by his mother, Emily Erin Lipford Forstner, originally of Franklin, Georgia, and father, James Lee Forstner Jr., originally of Canoga Park, California.
He is survived by his cherished companion of 15 years, Jane Blood Siegfried of Durham; two sons, William Robert Forstner of Raleigh and James Dean Forstner (Jennifer) and granddaughters Addison James Forstner and Sidney Dean Forstner of Mableton, Georgia; sister Lauriece Ruth Forstner and loving nieces Erin Christine Gregory of Marietta, Georgia; and Katherine Renee Gregory of Portland, Oregon; sister Linda Vinson of Charleston, South Carolina; and cousins Gail, Karen, Susan, August and Tee.
Visitation will be on Friday, June 2, from 5 until 8 p.m. at Peacock-Newman & White Funeral and Cremation Service on Howe Street in Southport. A Memorial Service for family and close friends will be held Saturday, June 3, at 11 a.m. at the same location.
In accordance with his wishes, interment is planned later in Aiken, South Carolina, alongside his parents.
Bob and his family offer special thanks to the incredibly caring and diligent team of Lower Cape Fear Hospice; Debbie Evans and Amber Weaver; Tommy and Julie Harrelson; Michele Wescott and family; Bill Rabon; the Fairleys; Dr. Zukoski; the Hatems; and many others too numerous to name.
Memorial donations may be made to The Nature Conservancy at www.nature.org/Donate or SECU Hospice House of Brunswick, 955 Mercy Lane, Bolivia, NC 28422.
Online condolences may be made at
Peacock-Newnam & White Funeral and
Cremation Service in Southport.
Published in The Aiken Standard and North Augusta Star on May 31, 2017
Arrangements under the direction of:
Peacock, Newnam & White Funeral and Cremation Service
1411 North Howe Street | Southport, NC 28461 | (910) 457-6944
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