Harry Raymond Forrest

Forrest—Harry Raymond Forrest, 92, on May 26, 2023, peacefully at home at Medford Leas retirement community in Medford, N.J. Harry was born on June 22, 1930, to Mildred and Harry Reineck Forrest in Philadelphia, Pa. He spent his childhood in Philadelphia and, in 1949, married Lois Bonsted. They would have four children and be married for 66 years until Lois’s passing in 2015.

Harry was a well-known professional calligrapher. He was past president of the Philadelphia Calligraphers’ Society and, for two years, a faculty member of the Philadelphia College of Art (now called the University of the Arts). Recipients of his creations include Nelson Mandela, the King and Queen of Sweden, astronaut Sally Ride, former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, and conductor Wolfgang Sawallisch. He created more than 2,000 Quaker marriage certificates during his long career.

Prior to beginning his art career, Harry was an executive with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) for 22 years, serving inner-city areas of both Philadelphia and Cleveland, Ohio. During the 1970s, he served on the national council staff of the BSA in North Brunswick, N.J.; as director of the low-income program development services; and as a member of the BSA’s national training facility. Harry served for two years as executive director of the Cleveland Retail Merchants Board. He was recognized for his contributions to the Cleveland business community by the Cleveland City Council in 1973.

An active Quaker, Harry was a member of Medford Meeting, where he served on various committees. He and Lois were co-clerks of Quaker Quest Working Group of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. The couple also served as volunteers at Woodbrooke, an international Quaker conference center based in Britain. Harry served on the board of Camp Dark Waters, a Quaker-affiliated summer camp in Medford.

Harry and Lois were active in social justice causes throughout their lives. Harry was adamant that every person has a responsibility to stand up to injustice. He was known to his community to speak out against bigotry when encountered.

Harry was a member of the Pine Barons Chorus for 40 years. He was the chorus’ past president and long-time emcee. He also sang with Special Occasions, an award-winning barbershop quartet.

For 24 years, Harry and Lois maintained a vacation home in Laporte, Pa. Over the years, their home was the setting for countless family gatherings. Many treasured memories were made having fun there as well as swimming and canoeing at nearby Lake Makoma.

Harry and Lois enjoyed hiking and cross-country skiing, and travel throughout North America and Europe. At times their travels included grandchildren.

Harry was predeceased by his wife, Lois Forrest, in 2015. He is survived by four children, Loyce Forrest (Hartley Goldstone), Karen Belz, Eric Beh-Forrest (Mary), and Jeffrey Forrest (Donna); nine grandchildren; fourteen great-grandchildren; a brother, Lawrence Forrest; and a sister-in-law, Janet Heckler.

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