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James Tommy Forrest was born in Douglas County, Missouri to Albert and Nellie (Hammons) Forrest on January 10, 1929. He went home to be with the Lord on September 21, 2023 at the age of 94 surrounded by family at the Gainesville Health Care Center.
James grew up on the banks of the Bryant Creek on the family farm near Sweden, MO as the youngest of six children. James 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, AR on January 12, 1953. James and Mona lived for a time in Kansas City, MO where James worked at Ford Aircraft. He and Mona later moved to and farmed in Douglas County, MO.
In 1961, James and Mona relocated to Gainesville, MO 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.
He was preceded in death by his parents and five siblings, Bessie Harwell, Frank Forrest, Alva Forrest, Alma Forrest, and Elmer Forrest, many other family members and friends, and an especially close cousin, Jack Forrest.
James is survived by his wife Mona Forrest of the home, son Bryan Forrest (Kelly) of Gainesville, MO, daughter Melanie DeWeese (Bruce) of Hardenville, MO, grandchildren Kasey Coffey (Chris) of Ozark, MO, Lindsey Forrest of Oklahoma City, OK, Cheyenne Alms (Derek) of Gainesville, MO, and Dallas DeWeese (Montana) of Branson, MO, 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.
Funeral services for James will be held on Wednesday, September 27 at 2:00 pm at Clinkingbeard Funeral Home in Gainesville, MO. Visitation will be held immediately before services at 1:00 pm. Burial will be held at Sims Cemetery. Officiating will be Bruce DeWeese and Mason Eslinger. Memorial contributions can be made to Sims Cemetery or Sweden Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of Clinkingbeard Funeral Home, Gainesville, MO.