Sterling Dean Forrester, 79, of Memphis, Missouri, passed away Friday, May 4, 2018, at Scotland County Hospital.
He was born January 2, 1939, at home in Tobin Township, Scotland County, Missouri, the only child of Francis Herman and Hazel Florine (Garrett) Forrester. He was the grandson of William Albert and Nellie Lee (Childers) Forrester and Ozro Clyde and Hazel Aleyne (Sweeney) Garrett.
Sterling attended and was a member of the Edinburg Baptist Church as a child. He was baptized into Christ on September 28, 1952 at the Memphis First Christian Church, where he later placed his membership.
He attended Edinburg grade school and graduated from Memphis High School in 1957. Sterling began six months of active military training in June 1957 under the Reserve Forces Act program at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He received eight weeks of basic combat training, followed by advanced individual and unit training. Sterling was honorably discharged from the United States Army on January 31, 1965.
He married the former Katherine Elaine Ewing, daughter of Clark Baldwin and Katherine Madeline (Monroe) Ewing, on December 5, 1964 at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Gorin. Sterling and Elaine made their home in the Edinburg community south of Memphis until moving to Memphis in 2017. She survives.
Sterling engaged in farming on the family farm. He also did custom hay baling, combining, and grain hauling across Scotland County in addition to row crops and livestock farming. Sterling enjoyed fabricating and designing farm implements from metal. His metal fabrication business was named Tobin Creek Experimental Manufacturing. He spent hours in his shop behind a welding helmet or with a cutting torch in his hand. He had a passion for “aged iron” as well as a deep appreciation for antiques and primitive farm collectibles, especially Oliver tractors.
He was a member of and currently serving as treasurer of the Leslie-Chambers American Legion Post #395 in Gorin, Missouri, and a 50-year member of Greensburg Lodge No. 414 Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. Sterling was a lifetime member and past president of the Scotland County Historical Society, past president of the Scotland County Antique Fair Association, and a lifetime member of the Bible Grove Historical Preservation Committee.
He was preceded in death by his father in 1985 and mother in 2015.
He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Elaine, of the home; two daughters: Angela Westhoff, and husband, Scott, of Memphis and Alisa Kigar, and husband, Jim, of Bible Grove, Missouri; four grandchildren: Megan (Westhoff) Hamilton, and husband, Kenneth, of Maryville, Missouri; Shelby Westhoff, and fiancé, Chuck Hayes, of Novelty, Missouri; and Eli and Elsie Kigar of Bible Grove, Missouri; and three great-grandchildren: Harper, Hinton, and Hatcher Hamilton of Maryville, Missouri, sister-in-law Janet Deaton and her husband, Don, of Huntsville, Alabama, as well as many cousins and friends.
Funeral services are scheduled for 11 a.m., May 11, 2018, at the First Christian Church in Memphis, with Brother Jack Sumption officiating. Interment will be in the Edinburg Baptist Church Cemetery.
Visitation is from 9 a.m. – 8 p.m., Thursday, May 10 at the Gerth Funeral Home with the family greeting friends from 5-8 p.m.
Memorials are suggested to the: Edinburg Church and Cemetery, the Downing House Museum Complex, and the Memphis First Christian Church.