E. Forrest Decatur, Jr. went to his eternal reward on Oct.1, 2018, after a courageous battle with cancer.
He was born April 28, 1944, in Exeter Hospital to Estelle T. Martin and Dr. Edwin F. Decatur. The family had moved from Buttonwood, R.I., so Dr. Decatur could be the physician to the Kingston community.
Forrest attended Kingston schools, graduating from Sanborn Regional High School in 1964. He served in the United States Coast Guard from 1964 to 1968.
He went to work for Osram Sylvania in Exeter and stayed 33 years. After his retirement from Sylvania he worked for The Mill Stores in Stratham, permanently retiring in 2009.
He married Estelle "Dusty" Bailey, settling first in the family home in Kingston and then in East Kingston. The couple had two children, Robin Melissa Decatur-Best, and Edwin F. Decatur III.
Forrest and Dusty became involved in the community. He served with the Kingston Volunteer Fire Department, and she joined him when they moved to East Kingston and became volunteers on the East Kingston Fire Department. Both of their children were also involved. Forrest also led a group of Fire Explorers.
He was a member of Wingold Grange in East Kingston, the Pomona and State granges. He joined in 1969, and would have been a 50-year member in 2019. He and Dusty were New Hampshire State Young Couple and represented New Hampshire at National Grange. He was a seventh-degree member and served on the state Youth Committee for 14 years.
He was also a Master Mason, and a Past Patron in the Order of Eastern Star. He enjoyed working with children and youth, serving as an adviser in the Exeter Rainbow and DeMolay, and as a "dad adviser" in both Exeter and Northwood.
At home Forrest enjoyed gardening. He liked working with his hands, and was happy tinkering, building a toy box for his son, stools for his grandchildren and other pieces of furniture.
Forrest enjoyed his summer visits to the family camp on Pleasant Lake at the Deerfield/Northwood line. He taught all his grandchildren to fish. Camp was special to him, a place where he could commune with nature, relax and do things on his own time. He liked spending time with his grandchildren, Victoria and Bailey Decatur of Brentwood and Shjon, Scott, Sarja and Susan Best of Virginia. He loved teaching them outdoor skills, such as how to roast a marshmallow without burning it.
Forrest was a gentleman and a gentle man. He rarely raised his voice, and, according to his wife Dusty, they were married 12 years before they had their first fight. He was also a quiet man, the one who sat in the corner without speaking, "until he made one remark that cracked everyone up."
He was loved by friends and family. Though not formally religious, he had a habit of disappearing into the woods to commune with nature, and returned with a calmed spirit.
He and Dusty downsized in 2017, moving from the East Kingston home to a smaller one in Exeter.
He especially enjoyed working with children, either his own grandchildren or the youth in various organizations, and helping them shape their futures. Education was important to Forrest and was so proud of all of the scholastic accomplishments of his grandchildren and his other “kids”. To honor him and that importance, his family has asked that in lieu of flowers, memorial donations be made to the Albert D. Minor Scholarship fund, which is given to both women and men who are attending Technical College. Checks are asked to be made out to:
New Hampshire Grand Chapter OES
Memo: Albert D Minor Scholarship
Mail to: Mrs. Shelley M Gullett, PGM, Grand Secretary
32 Sioux Avenue
Nashua, NH 03063
Forrest is survived by his wife of 46 years, Dusty, his daughter Robin, his son Ed, his beloved grandchildren Shjon, Scott, Victoria, Sarja, Bailey, and Susan, his brothers Lee and Steve, his sister-in-law Connie, his brothers-in-law Rick, David, Jeff and Paul, his many nieces and nephews, and so many more people he adopted into his heart and family.
Calling hours will be Friday, October 5, 2018 from 6:00 - 7:00 pm at Brewitt Funeral Home on 14 Pine Street, Exeter, NH. Following the calling hours, his fraternal organization memorial services will be held at the funeral home at 7:00 PM. The Committal Service will be held Graveside on Saturday, October 6, 2018 at 10:00 am at the Greenwood Cemetery on North Road in Kingston, NH, with a reception to follow.