James Tommy Forrest, 94
Funeral services for James Tommy Forrest, 94, of Gainesville, will be held at 2 p.m. today, Wednesday, Sept. 27, at Clinkingbeard Funeral Home in Gainesville. Visitation will be held immediately before the service at 1 p.m. Burial will be held at Sims Cemetery. Bruce DeWeese and Mason Eslinger will officiate.
James died Sept. 21, 2023, surrounded by his family at Gainesville Health Care Center. He was born Jan. 10, 1929, in Douglas County to Albert and Nellie (Hammons) Forrest.
James grew up on the banks of the Bryant Creek on the family farm near Sweden, Missouri, as the youngest of six children. He was a Korean War veteran of the United States Army who trained in California before serving in Japan and later in Korea. As part of an artillery unit in Korea, James worked as an army cook perfecting many tasty entrees.
After serving in the war, James married Mona Lou Hackler in Mountain Home, Arkansas, on Jan. 12, 1953. James and Mona lived for a time in Kansas City, Missouri, where James worked at Ford Aircraft. He and Mona later moved to and farmed in Douglas County.
In 1961, James and Mona relocated to Gainesville to open a real estate office. James spent many years working for United Farm Agency as a real estate broker. He brokered the sale of many homes and farms throughout his career. While showing many rural properties, James demonstrated his belief that there was no place that a Ford Bronco couldn’t go.
James especially enjoyed the following activities: coon hunting, turkey hunting, fishing, listening to bluegrass music, singing at church, animal stories, teaching Sunday School for numerous years, having coffee at a particular table at Skeeter’s Café and watching the St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Chiefs.
James is survived by his wife, Mona Forrest of the home; son Bryan Forrest and wife Kelly of Gainesville; daughter Melanie DeWeese and husband Bruce of Hardenville; grandchildren Kasey Coffey and spouse Chris of Ozark, Lindsey Forrest of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Cheyenne Alms (and spouse Derek) of Gainesville and Dallas DeWeese (and spouse Montana) of Branson; and eight great-grandchildren. James was also survived by many close friends (CNAs, nurses and support staff) at the Gainesville Health Care Center who became like family to him and loved him unconditionally even though he was “occasionally cantankerous,” and two other special friends, Bill Cockrum and Donald Amyx, who visited him regularly at the Health Care Center.
He was preceded in death by his parents and five siblings, Bessie Harwell, Frank Forrest, Alva Forrest, Alma Forrest and Elmer Forrest and many other family members and friends, and an especially close cousin, Jack Forrest.
Memorial contributions can be made to Sims Cemetery or Sweden Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of Clinkingbeard Funeral Home, Gainesville.