It is with deep reverence and in hushed tones that AWON
remembers our Brother, COL Happy Jack Forgy, who passed away
on Friday, September 26, 2008 and his Dad, LTC Percy O'Dell Forgy,
who was KIA in Normandy, 27 July, 1944.
COL Jack O'Dell Forgy • Happy Jack to most of us.
Jack told us how to do it in 2000 at the San Diego Conference,
where his talk was about "Finding our Fathers: Researching Sources and Techniques."
No one knew more about this subject – or cared more about our subjects – than Jack.
Having been a long-time AWON Board member himself, Jack swears in the 2000 Board,
as Janet Koons and Bob Cherny look on: Jean Rhinehart, Ellen Jones, Chickie Berry, Pete Higgins,
Elaine Danks, Patricia Gaffney-Ansel, Judi Kramer, President Gloria Layne, Walt Linne,
Vice-President Lorin McCleary III, Maggie Malone, Bill McGuire, Founder Ann Mix,
Patty Wheeler, and Doni Troglio. Not pictured are Jack Langston and Ann Whelan O'Connor.
Jack with a few of his fans: Kathleen and Susan Linville and Dianna Peirson,
after the poignant service for our Fathers at Fort Rosecrans in San Diego.
Here's the COL with Darlene Mott, Norma Nicol Hamilton and Norm Stahl
in front of the walls of our Fathers at the WWII Museum in Branson, 2002.
Jack finds his Dad, LTC Percy O'Dell Forgy, KIA 27 July, 1944 in Normandy.
Jack with Dianna Peirson and Victoria Adams at the WWII Museum in Branson.
Jack Giese, Bonnie Cooper, Bill Chiodo, Jack Forgy, and Vicky Gresik
gather around Betty Volkan and her linking object: her Father's WWII canteen.
October 16, 2004 at a Gettysburg Luncheon at McClennan's Tavern
in the Gettysburg Hotel. Behind him are Larry and Avonne Reiber Clapsadl.
Picture courtesy of Janice Buterbaugh (with thanks to Judy Hoffman for staging).
Jack did so much for so many of us that it's hard to single out one project or challenge,
but one of his best had to be securing the Silver Star for 1LT Gerard J. Flannick. To see
the whole story on the Flannick Silver Star, April 13, 2001, Click Here!
Jack said this in an E-Mail not long ago . . .
"After a long career in the service of my Country, I feel that the work I've done for the children
of these oft-forgotten warriors has been the most rewarding of my career."
What an example Jack was to so many of us – as he made his Father proud.
When we wanted to create a special web page for each of the overseas cemeteries,
Jack was the first to respond with help -- and a picture of his Mother at Normandy:
"A Widow's First Visit."
Pauline E. Forgy, who first visited the Normandy Cemetery at St. Laurent
in 1991. She was 82 at the time. Photo provided by Jack O'Dell Forgy
in memory of his Mother and LTC Percy O'Dell Forgy, KIA 27 July 1944 in Normandy
Here's what Jack wrote about the picture:
"LTC Forgy's cross lies between the two conical trees in the far background to the right of my Mom. CPT George Rarey and MAJ George Grant lie nearby. We all know about CPT Rarey; he lies in the row in front of my Dad. MAJ Grant, XO, 3rd BN, 506 PIR, 101st ABN, was machine gunned in his chute on the way down and never took up arms against the foe. He's in the same row as my Dad. He and my Dad were both Arkansans. His daughter Judith, an AWON member and my sister were classmates but never knew each other's story. The green carts in the background are old 1/4 ton Jeep trailers, presumably surplused to the ABMC when they built the cemetery. The grounds keepers use them to carry things. No telling what else lurks in the warehouse, that only old soldiers like me would recognize. I often wonder if those trailers made the trek over the beach and up the hill."
We'll miss you around the table, Jack. We hope to remember you
half as well as you remembered our Dads!
With many thanks to all who contributed photos for this page.