Forrest Aldy Anderson, formerly of Gary, Indiana, passed away December 1, 2014 at the age of 92. He was a resident of the Watercrest Retirement Community in Mansfield, Texas, former educational administrator, World War 2 Marine Corps veteran, a member of the Masonic Temple, husband and father.
Forrest Anderson was born to Forrest and Anna Quinn Anderson on August 7, 1922. Forrest married Vesta Fay Smyth, his wife of 65 years, on June 11, 1949 and had three children; David and Jerry Anderson and Dr. Marianne Anderson.
A private family service will be held at 10:00 a.m. Friday, December 5, 2014 in the Blessing Funeral Home Colonial Chapel in Mansfield, Texas. Interment will be at the Masonic Cemetery in Warren, Indiana, December 6, 2014 at 2:00 p.m.
Forrest “Fordy” A. Anderson was born August 7th, 1922 in Gary, Indiana to Forrest and Anna Anderson. He had seven sisters and two younger brothers. Fordy began working at the tender age of ten at the neighborhood hardware store after school and was driving by age twelve so he could make customer deliveries. His family needed his income for life’s basic necessities. Like his father, Fordy was an accomplished athlete. He played quarterback on his high school football team and he was a Golden Gloves Champion. He was able to attend the then named Ball State Teachers College in Muncie, Indiana where he played quarterback on a full scholarship. As he started his freshman fall semester, WWII began. He along with his teammates had committed to their coach that they would finish that first season but then they all planned to enlist immediately. At the close of the football schedule, Fordy enlisted in the Marine Corps and set off to San Diego for basic and survival training. He joined the Raider Battalion and was assigned to the South Pacific. His deployment took him to the Marianas, other islands campaigns and he completed his combat tour on Iwo Jima. He served two full tours and had signed for a third when the war ended. Ninety three percent of his original company did not come home.
When he came home, he returned to Ball State to finish his bachelor’s degree in education. This is where and when he met the love of his life, Vesta Fay Smyth. They were both juniors and she was also getting her business education degree. After their college graduation, they each worked a year. Fordy was coaching football at Central Catholic High School in Fort Wayne, Indiana and Vesta had secured a teaching position at a small school in Wolf Lake, Indiana. During that year, Fordy proposed to Vesta at the Kentucky Derby and they were married on June 11, 1949. They decided Fort Wayne was to be their home and they began to set down roots. May of 1950 brought their first child, a daughter, Marianne. Two sons followed, Jerome “Jerry” in September of 1952 and David in June of 1954.
Fordy’s early years at Central Catholic were highly successful. His teams won the State Championship in 1950. Fordy knew that the game of football was a teaching vehicle for the larger game of life. Coaching also gave Fordy the opportunity to secure scholarships at the college level so his players could further their education. This forged unique and life long bonds with his players. There hardly was a day all the way to the end of his 92nd year that he was not in contact with one of them.
With the children growing, Fordy began to look ahead and began a Master’s Degree in Administration. He loved coaching but knew a career path with more stability was the wisest choice. He completed his Master’s and actually fell just a few hours short of his PhD in Administration which led to a long time position with the Fort Wayne Community Schools.
Fordy loved and lived life to the fullest. He was an accomplished self-taught artist with a penchant for painting winter landscapes. To the delight of his family and close friends, he would hand-paint their Christmas card for many years. He was an exceptional wood worker, making small furniture pieces and many, many wooden toys and puzzles and games for his eight grandchildren. He and Vesta traveled extensively across the globe which included Indonesia, Bali, Singapore and the Mediterranean. One of their favorite spots was Maui, Hawaii which is where they spent the winter months for many years. Fordy kept beautifully descriptive handwritten journals of all their travels. A special family keepsake is his lengthy journal of a summer long family trip throughout the United States and Canada just before the children started college.
Fordy completed his journey in life on December 1, 2014 at the age of 92. He is survived by his wife, Vesta of 66 years, his daughter, Marianne Anderson Kissinger and her husband, Scott of Mansfield, Texas, his son, Jerome F. Anderson and his wife, Lynn of Wilmington, North Carolina, his son, David W. Anderson and his wife, Cindy of Buffalo, New York, Grandchildren, Kylah Kissinger McNabb and her husband, Dustin, Brian F. Kissinger, Sean P. Kissinger and his wife, Caitlin, Forrest R. Anderson, Margaret Smythe Anderson, Jennifer Lynn Anderson, Megan Anderson, Erik Anderson, Christopher Anderson and his wife, Leah, and Great Grandchildren, Sean Anderson, Asher McNabb and Maverick Kissinger.