Richard Eugene Forrestel was born on December 5, 1924 to Viona and Eugene Forrestel in Akron, NY. He was the fourth of five children: Mary (who died before he was born), Marjorie, Helen, Richard and Tom. His parents and contemporaries knew him as Dick while his family and many others called him REF. REF graduated from Akron H.S. and went on to earn his B.S. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Michigan where he met Virginia Rogers. Virginia and Richard married on 12/18/48 and REF graduated from Michigan Law School the next year. He served in the US Navy during WW II.
Richard and Virginia moved back to Akron in 1949 and REF went to work for Cold Spring Construction Company where he remained employed for 66 years. REF was a director of Bank of Akron for 64 years. Virginia and REF had six sons and five daughters born between 1949 and 1970. REF loved his family dearly, always helping, trying to provide his children with both opportunity and a different perspective. He was an incredibly diverse man with interests from the heavens, flying, to the depths of the sea, scuba diving. He encouraged all of us to try hard.....and then try harder, just as he did while lettering in track at Michigan. REF lived his entire life in Akron but he traveled extensively, always interested in different cultures and lands. REF's gentle thumb prints can be seen in numerous projects in and around Akron. He loved this community and the folks who live here, quietly helping scores of people in countless ways.
REF and Virginia were married for more than 64 years until her passing in 2013. What follows is a chronological list of those who survive Richard: Stephen and Cathy, grandchildren (GC) Ryan, great grand children (GGC) Emma Marie and Anieka, GC Alison and Kabir, GGC Eslyn, GC Beth and Brett; Anne, GC Laura, GGC Kaia, GC Alex; Eugene Peter and Linda, GC Peter and Holly, GGC Ethan and Gabriella, GC Becky and Jonathan; Mary and Russ Borden, GC Andy and Rachel, GGC Drew and Ben, GC Jeff and Katie; Ryan and Kim, GC Daniel and Mari, GGC Eleanora, GC Amy and GC Patrick; Andrew and Anne, GC Andrew, John and Patrick; Richard Jr. and Sandy, GC Jack, Olivia and Emmett; Colleen and Scott Ponto, GC Ben, Kalie and Evan; Julia and Peter Beckford, GC Simon and Ursa; Sara and late husband, Craig Greene, GC Will; Thomas and Jessica, GC Nathan and Lucas and finally the glorious canine love of the last several years of his life, Buckets.
REF lived each of his 32,963 days like it was his last, living fully, caring deeply, observing intently, making a difference to those around him, near and far. His impact on the construction world will be felt for years to come and spans the country, coast to coast. His zest for life was acutely evident to all and his can-do attitude was both infectious and productive. REF quietly supported countless causes and he requested donations in lieu of flowers to Hospice (hospicebuffalo.com) or St. Teresa of Avila Parish (stteresaofakron.com).
Family and friends are cordially invited to share thoughts, fond memories and condolences on Friday (March 6th) from 1-5pm and 6-9pm at the J. LEONARD MCANDREW FUNERAL HOME, LLC, 32 John St. Akron, NY. A Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30am on Saturday at St. Teresa of Avila Church, Buell St. Akron.
Expressions of condolence may be shared with the family at: www.mcandrewfuneralhomes.net.
ARRANGEMENTS WERE ENTRUSTED TO THE J. LEONARD MCANDREW FUNERAL HOME, LLC, 32 JOHN ST., AKRON, NY 14001. RONALD KONIECZNY II, DIRECTOR & PROPRIETOR.