John Jackson Forrister, age 88 years, 7 months, and 27 days, passed away in the early morning hours of December 26, 2015 in Midland, TX. He was born April, 29, 1927 in Borden Springs, AL to William Washington Forrister and Venie Estella Lorren, the third of thirteen children born to them.
He was inducted into the U.S. Navy in September 1945, and was honorably discharged in July 1946 as a result of manpower cutbacks. While in the Navy he achieved the rank of Fireman 2nd class, and worked on a team that decommissioned naval vessels.
Mr. Forrister married Birdie Louise Robinson on November 2, 1946 and together they raised two sons, Larry Norman, and Dwight Kent, and two daughters, Nyla Jean, and Jonnie Rene', while living in Whittier, CA, and Downey, CA. They celebrated 69 years of marriage in 2015.
Although he had little formal education, Mr. Forrister had a lifelong hunger for knowledge. He attended automotive school in Tennessee in 1948 and became an accomplished mechanic. This training, in addition to his natural ability, enabled him to analyze mechanical problems and devise solutions to them. In his later years, he often crafted replacement parts for farming and ranching equipment which were superior to the factory-installed parts. He received a patent for one of his ideas to improve a piece of farming equipment.
In 1968 Mr. Forrister began a business in Bell Gardens, CA installing vinyl tops on cars. He expanded the business to include original equipment replacement seat covers and carpeting for Volkswagen Beetles, and sun visors for Ford Mustangs. Later, he expanded the business to produce a variety of foam products for medical usage, including bed-size foam pads, and specialty cushions for patient care. To facilitate this operation, he invented a machine that rolled the foam pads and sealed them in cellophane for easy storage and delivery. The business eventually expanded to include after-market, leather-trimmed seats and door panels for new cars, and the company grew to a nation-wide enterprise. He retired from this business in 1991 and moved to Texas where he spent his final years ranching and farming.
Mr. Forrister's greatest passion, however, was his faith in Christ. After becoming a Christian in the 1947, he pursued his faith with the same intensity with which he worked at his vocation. He was a member of the Suva St. Church of Christ in Bell Gardens, CA for many years and served as a deacon and later as an elder for that congregation. In the 1970s that church merged with the N. Downey Church of Christ, and he served as one of the elders of that congregation until he moved to Texas. In Texas, Mr. Forrister was a member of the 3rd & Dwight Church of Christ in Monahans for several years before moving to Barstow, TX. He then became a member of the 4th & Bois d'Arc Church of Christ in Pecos. He briefly served as an elder of this congregation before resigning due to health issues.
Mr. Forrister was passionate in his support for preaching the gospel of Christ. He personally helped to support a number of men in mission fields for many years. He was also an ardent supporter of "In Search of the Lord's Way," a television ministry in Edmond, OK. In addition to this, he personally talked to people about faith in Christ at every opportunity and was instrumental in leading many to Christ throughout his lifetime.
His greatest accomplishment in this regard is that he instilled faith in Christ in each of his children. They, in turn, have passed this faith along to their children. A fourth generation of his descendants, now young children and infants, are also reaping the harvest of his faith as they, too, are learning the faith in Christ that he held so dear.
Mr. Forrister is survived by his wife, Birdie Louise, of Pecos, TX; his son, Dwight and wife Linda, of Round Rock, TX; his daughter, Nyla and husband, Fred, of Pecos, TX; and his daughter, Rene', and husband, Brent, of Camarillo, CA. He was preceded in death by his son, Larry, in 2010.
In addition to these, Mr. Forrister is survived by two sisters, Mary Gertrude Smith, of Zalfo Springs, FL and Estelle Salmon, of Ozark, MO, by ten grandchildren, twenty-two great-grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews, and by a host of friends.
Funeral services will be 2:00 PM Wednesday, December 30, 2015 at 4th & Bois d'Arc Church of Christ with Fred Dominguez officiating. Burial will follow at Mt. Evergreen Cemetery. Visitation will be 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM Tuesday, December 29, 2015 at Pecos Funeral Home. Pallbearers will be Mr. Forrister's grandchildren; David Dominguez, Daniel Dominguez, Samuel Dominguez, Aaron Forrister, Ryan Forrister, and Mindy Rossetto.