John (Jack) Forst
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John (Jack) Forst

John (Jack) Forst left this earth on June 26th, to go home to his Savior, Jesus Christ. Born in Chicago, Illinois to wonderful parents, Jack was the 7th of 8 children in a devout Catholic family. He sacrificed his own high school education to help support his mother and family. Later he joined the US Army Corps of Engineers where he spent several months in training at Fort Belvoir, VA. After his service, he completed his GED and was hired by Armour/Conagra Food company and worked for 36 years in Industrial Engineering and Human Resources. Jack spent many years traveling around the country helping to ensure the company's operations were running at maximum effectiveness before retiring as Director of Labor Relations in 1985.

Jack met the love of his life, his "girl next door", while growing up in Chicago. They spent many dates walking miles around the streets of Chicago, watching double features at the local movie house, and eating ice cream at nearby soda fountains. They were married in 1949 and spent over 70 wonderful years together. They moved from Illinois to Phoenix in 1971 and fell in love with the desert. Jack was an avid golfer, loved cooking, music, bowling and fun bridge clubs with their friends. He loved technology even into his 90's, including his computer, learning to use Alexa and texting until the very end.

From the age of 14, his deep devotion to the Catholic Faith led him to join church choirs including St. Peters in downtown Chicago and Celebrate Choir in Phoenix. His family loved listening to his beautiful baritone voice. He also served God, alongside his wife, as a Eucharistic Minister at The Franciscan Renewal Center (The Casa) and other local churches. Jack also enjoyed his breakfast adventures with his Men's Club.

Jack's gift of humor and his storytelling captivated his family and friends and was evident all the way to the end. Everyone he has encountered; family, friends, neighbors and medical staff has shared how fun he was to be around. His primary passions were his profound faith and his immense love for his close-knit family. His enormous heart, deep laugh, and compassion for others were undeniable and contagious. It was admirable how Jack spent the remaining years of his life caring for his wife and best friend who he sweetly referred to as "his queen". He was committed to keeping her at home where she was comfortable and happy.

His family hurts that he has left this earth but are comforted knowing he is in the arms of His Heavenly Father and reunited with his daughter and son and other loved ones who have gone before him. Jack was a true inspiration to all and will be deeply missed by his wife, three living children, twelve grandchildren and seventeen great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, please contribute to the American Heart Association.




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Published in The Arizona Republic from Jun. 30 to Jul. 5, 2020.
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