Between the Dash. Edward Joseph Forest would often take his much-loved family photos out of his wallet with a pride-filled smile to show his unsuspecting audience. The viewers’ stunned reaction gave way every time to Ed’s glimmer in his eye, a burst of laughter, and a surge of pride in his soul. His prized photo featured his Dad, Richard J. Forest Sr, who predeceased him in 2018, and his Mom, Carol A (Sturtevant) Forest, who predeceased him in 2014, surrounded by the gang of seventeen brothers and sisters. Ed’s family of 19 grounded him, giving him the roots to grow into a charismatic, outgoing, curious, engaging, and all-around amazing person. Ed attended Cathedral High School, Class of 82’ along with his twin John Forest. He loved to tell stories about the Page Blvd neighborhood crew, providing endless laughter, especially at the 1416 Page Blvd Wednesday Night Spaghetti dinners attended by anyone who called by 3 pm. He cherished his friendships through all his years, and with each passing year, adding at least a dozen more by being a loyal customer, a trade salesperson, a local meeting attendee, or someone he met in a restaurant. Ed’s true passion, that ‘what makes Ed, Ed’ was his love of carpentry. His father Richard realized Ed’s aptitude for woodworking at the age of 9, providing Ed with his own set of tools, told by Ed to (try to) keep Ed away from using his dad’s. Remarkably, by the age of 19, he was a self-employed carpenter, beginning Forest Remodeling. Ed’s true gift to all of us was his unending curiosity to learn, as he enjoyed reading countless books on woodworking, and later, scouring the internet for hours on end researching the latest product or installation tips. He enjoyed designing and remodeling kitchens and bathrooms for his many local clients through the years. His annual trip to Rhode Island’s JLC Live was a highlight for him, as he brought along many friends, bringing back more tales to add to his repertoire for Wednesday nights. He also always brought back a few more tools. Ed’s pride and joy are his children and family. He loved the annual Forest Reunion, where the immediate family would eventually top 100 people counting only his mom and dad, siblings, spouses, their children, and their grandchildren, great-grandchildren. Ed enjoyed building toys for his own children, putting together the swing set, train table, or any gift Santa would bring. Like his dad, he enjoyed buying gadgets and games for entertainment at home. He delighted in updating anyone listening on the current events of his home life, where he loved to say his house was magic, clothes would magically go from his floor to folded in his drawer and each meal or bowl of soup served would make his personal best-ever list. His own home held his most significant accomplishments and gave him the most profound sense of achievement which he often spoke about in deep appreciation. Edward J. Forest, 57, passed away peacefully at home, June 17th. Born January 2, 1964, in Springfield, Ed lived his first 38 years in Springfield, then the past 19 years in Somers, CT. It is with cavernous heartache we say goodbye. Ed is survived by daughter Victoria Forest of Springfield, wife Lisa Ekmalian Forest, daughter Elizabeth Forest, son Nicholas Edward Forest of Enfield. He leaves behind his amazing 16 siblings, Peter of Morgan Hill, CA, Marie Watson & husband Michael of South Shaftsbury, VT, Anne Senez of Gold Hill, North Carolina, Richard Jr. & wife Mimi of Townsend, David & wife Rose of Madrid, Spain, Janet LaVallee & husband Alan of Springfield, Linda Laux & husband Michael of Springfield, Judith Griffin & husband Dan of Springfield, Robert of Wilbraham, Donna Forest & partner Mick of Palmer, John & wife Deb of East Longmeadow, Joseph & wife Antoinette of East Longmeadow, Donald & wife Marie of Wilbraham, Michael & wife Sharon of Ludlow, Stephen & wife Maureen of Sudsbury, and Matthew & wife Jill of Ludlow along with numerous cousins, nephews, and nieces. Ed treasured the friendships of many including, Craig & Muriel White, Ekmalian Family, Dave & Trinda Nehmer, Colleen & Paul Westberg, Triggs Family, Kane Family, Dave St. John, Plourde Family, McCarthy Family, and Stan & Jim. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Calling Hours will take place on Wednesday, June 23 from 9 AM to 12 PM, with Funeral services immediately following beginning at 12 PM at Byron Keenan Funeral Home 1858 Allen Street, Springfield. Burial will follow at Oak Grove Cemetery of Springfield Inc. Donations in memory of Edward J. Forest may be made to Christina House, 38 Madison Ave, Springfield, MA 01105, or Make a Wish of Mass, 181 Park Ave #12, West Springfield, MA.
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