CUBA - John W. Forness, of 3086 Haskell Road, passed away Thursday (Nov. 8, 2012) at the Cuba Memorial Hospital Palliative Care Unit surrounded by his family.
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John was born Oct. 5, 1925, in Olean, and was a son of Clement and Florence Wiesman Forness. On Aug. 9, 1947, he married his loving wife, Mary C. Watkins, who survives.
John was a 1943 graduate of Olean High School. He served his country in the U.S. Navy during both World War II from Sept. 16, 1943 to May 17, 1946, and the Korean War from Nov. 29, 1950 to May 29, 1951.
John attended St. Bonaventure University. He was a city letter carrier for the Olean Post Office for 33 years before becoming the Bolivar postmaster. John retired after 43 total years of service in 1996.
John and his wife, Mary, started Hawk Hideaway Wild Life & Rehabilitation Center on the Haskell Road, which helps to rehabilitate birds of prey and educate people. The Center also rehabilitates bears and fawns. John and Mary worked under the DEC on the Osprey Project at Kinzua and Onoville Marina.
John is a member of the St. Mary's Church. He enjoyed scouting and was a Boy Scout master in Hinsdale. John was instrumental in starting Midget Football in Hinsdale, and he was also a past president of Hinsdale School Board. Through his life, John was a past member of many organizations, including the Bolivar Fire Department.
Along with his wife of 65 years, John is survived by two sons, Roger R. (Annette) Forness of Honolulu, Hawaii, and Kevin J. (Debra) Forness of Olean; a daughter, M. Michele (George) Bush of Portville; 10 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; a sister, Emma Lou (Robert) Granger of Allegany; a sister-in-law, Lois Forness of North Carolina; and several nieces and nephews.
John was predeceased by one son, Michael R. Forness, in 1978; one grandson, Shawn Michael Forness; and three Brothers, Bruce, Robert and Michael Forness.
Friends were received Friday (Nov. 9, 2012) at the Letro-McIntosh-Spink Funeral Home Inc., 646 E. State St., Olean, from 4 to 7 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial was held on Saturday (Nov. 10, 2012) at the St. Mary's Church in Olean at 10 a.m. The Rev. Gregory J. Dobson was celebrant.
Burial will be at the St. Bonaventure Cemetery with full military honors accorded by the Allegany American Legion Charles Harbel Post 892 Ritual Team.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Eagle Dreams Rehabilitation, 208 Grossman Ave., Olean, NY 14760. Online condolences may be made to www.LetroMcIntoshSpinkFuneralhome.com.
Published in The Olean Times Herald on Nov. 9, 2012