CHELSEA - Faith Fisher Forbes died peacefully at her home in Chelsea on Friday, May 8, 2009. The cause of death was lung cancer, which never caused her pain and was only recently diagnosed. She was 90 years old.
Faith Fisher was born on May 23, 1918, at her family's summer home in Petersham, Mass. She was the daughter of Georgina Paine Fisher and Richard Thornton Fisher, founder of the Harvard Forest. She grew up in Petersham and Weston, Mass., and graduated from Concord Academy in 1936. She attended Bennington College for two years before marrying G. Donald Forbes in 1938. In 1941, the couple moved into a house they built in Sudbury, Mass., where they lived for 30 years.
Mrs. Forbes loved well-pruned trees and well-pruned sentences. Her keen observations and acute sense of composition, both visual and linguistic, brought joy to her and to all who knew her. She thrived at finding beauty in unexpected places, from the sharp edge of an insignificant shadow to the power of a Peterbilt truck. She was never bored, taking great pleasure in people and in the present moment, wherever she was.
An accomplished painter, Mrs. Forbes worked with watercolor and oils, specializing in portraits and landscapes. In addition to numerous commissioned portraits, she painted two soundboards for the Boston harpsichord maker, William Dowd. After moving to Vermont in 1971, she designed and painted a stained glass window for the Danville Congregational Church in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. In 1995, she had a retrospective show of her paintings at the Chandler Gallery in Randolph.
A past member of the board of directors of the Barre Opera House, she was instrumental in its 1982 reopening. She was a past trustee of the Chelsea Health Center and a former member of the Chelsea Womens' Club, Tunbridge Learning Center and Chelsea Parks Commission. With her daughter Dinny, she traveled to Washington D.C. in 1986 and 1987 to protest U.S. Central American policies.
She was predeceased by her husband Donald Forbes in 1993 and by her son Donald Cameron Forbes in 1998. She is survived by her son, Richard Forbes of Randolph; her daughters Georgina Forbes of Norwich and Gwendolyn Forbes of Northampton, Mass.; seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren; and a brother, Charles P. Fisher of Framingham, Mass.
Contributions in her name can be made to the Chelsea Health Center, 356 Route 110, Chelsea, VT 05038; the Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice of VT and NH, P.O. Box 976, White River Junction, VT 05001; or The Hooved Animal Sanctuary, P.O. Box 258, Chelsea, VT 05038.
Funeral arrangements by Boardway & Cilley Funeral Home, Chelsea, VT.