Forrest Joseph(1925 - 2014)

JOSEPH Forrest Joseph went to our Lord on February 24, 2014 in Jacksonville, Florida at the age of 88. He was born to Abdo Joseph (Yazgi) and Sarah Kasses both from Syria on October 27, 1925 in Jacksonville. As a spirited youth he spent a good bit of his time in the Boy Scouts and achieved the highest honor as Eagle Scout and continued with the organization as an assistant scoutmaster. Following his graduation from Immaculate Conception High School he enlisted in the United Stated Navy in 1943 during World War II. He was honorably discharged in 1945 and returned home to help his father run C. Joseph's Supermarket. He enjoyed spending his young adult life attending dance halls listening to big band music but especially dancing the jitterbug. He competed in dance competitions and taking first prize on occasions mainly with his sister, Elaine, as his partner. In 1957 he accompanied his father and joined his Uncle, The Reverend Monsignor Chamoun Yazgi, in Brazil where he met and married the joy of his life, Amira Elias Mubarke. Forrest took over the business and successfully operated it through hard work but mainly by his deep compassion and dignity he gave his customers. Then in 1972 after over 40 years in operation he sold the business. He obtained both his real estate and insurance sales licenses where he worked in both industries. Never the one to shy away from hard work , as an onsite real estate sales agent he took this opportunity to learn the residential construction industry and eventually built a nice side business as a custom home builder. He always knew that the grocery business was his calling in life. In 1984, following the purchase of an existing establishment, he returned to the supermarket business and operated Joseph Supermarket. Finally in 1994, Forrest made the difficult decision to retire at the age 74 and spend the rest of his years dedicated to his family. During his years, he was a founding member of the Syrian Lebanese American Club and a devoted member of Saint Ephrem Syrian Catholic Church which was originally established by his Uncle Monsignor Chamoun Yazgi around 1936. He loved his wife dearly and together they raised a wonderful family. To Forrest, Amira was the bond that kept the family together. He lived his life to provide for his family not only through his long years of hard work but mainly by his everyday commitment of care and love he showed them. His family was the center of his life. His love for his children was unlimited. He adored his grandchildren and cherished his role as a grandfather. He never stopped encouraging them to be their best. Dad instilled in his family a deep devotion to his Christian faith, not only through daily prayers and unwavering reverence to our Lord but the respect and kindness he showed everyone. He leaves behind his beautiful and supportive wife of 57 years Amira, his sons Charles (Wyndee), Michael (Madeline), Raymond (Neirouz), and daughter Debbie Yazgi (Hayssam), ten grandchildren Joseph, Andrew, Christine, John, Elizabeth, Matthew, Christopher, Victoria, Nicholas, and Alexander. He is preceded in death by his loving parents and sister Elaine. A prayer service will be held on Sunday March 2 at 7:00pm at St. Ephrem Syrian Catholic Church, 4650 Kernan Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32224. The Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Monday March 3 at 11:00am also at St. Ephrem Catholic Church. Interment will be held in the St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery in Evergreen Cemetery with military honors at gravesite. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to St. Ephrem Catholic Church. Please Sign the Guestbook @

Published in the Florida Times-Union on Feb. 28, 2014