Edward “Ed” D. DeForest, 83, Mexico, Mo.: May 17, 1935 – Dec. 6, 2018

MEXICO, Mo. – Edward David DeForest, 83, died Dec. 6, 2018, at the Veteran’s Home in Mexico, Mo. He was born May 17, 1935, near Melvern, Kan., the son of Francis Lee Veal DeForest and Bertha Goldie DeForest.

Edward graduated from Lebo High School in 1953. He was an army veteran, and served in Korea. Bachelor’s and master’s degrees in art education were granted to him from Emporia State University. Teaching, and secondary art, was his great passion. Ed taught in Cleveland, Ohio, and Marysville, Kan. Later he was employed as a graphic designer at Wolf Creek Nuclear Power Plant, near Burlington, Kan., and worked as a creel census taker for the Kansas Department of Parks, Wildlife and Tourism at Melvern Reservoir. He was a longtime member of the VFW Post 2699, Marysville, and Post 0323, Lebo, Kan.

He married Loretta Beavers and they were divorced.

Ed is loved and survived by his sister, Judy Shoemaker, Baxter Springs, Kan.; brother, Glen DeForest, Maple Hill, Kan.; daughter, Linda Swim and husband, Jim, Marysville; sons, Mike DeForest and wife, Jennifer, of Hiawatha, Kan., and David DeForest and wife, Kristi, Fulton, Mo.; seven grandchildren, Zia Swim, Hannah Swim, Gabe DeForest, Nate DeForest, Bridget Aldrich, Lindsey Foster and Ashley Pyle; three great grandchildren, Grace Swim, Ivy Aldrich and Jayden Foster; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and brothers, Harry, Jim, Norman, Harold, and Jerry.

A stray dog’s best friend was Ed DeForest. He loved animals and enjoyed feeding birds and squirrels. His many hobbies included creating beautiful art of varied media. To family and friends he leaves a legacy of fine artwork in the forms of jewelry, walnut and glass tables, sculptures, paintings and drawings. His love of art survives through the works of his many talented students. In typical Ed DeForest style, for a cemetery monument, he selected a large glacial erratic pink Sioux quartzite boulder. He enjoyed writing poems and Willie Wheat Woolie children’s books. He searched for mushrooms and “good stuff” along river bottoms and reservoirs. “Good stuff” included old cast iron artifacts, arrowheads, bubble glass bottles, neat bones and fossils. Edward used Ithaca Featherlight shotguns to hunt prairie chickens, ducks, pheasant and quail. With Mepp’s spinners and Jitterbugs, Ed fished with Mitchell open face reels for bass and channel cats. Springtime would find Ed jigging for crappie with fly rods.

Ed suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, but maintained his zest and love for life to the end. Ed often voiced not wanting to be a burden to his family, which he of course was not. If one asked Ed how he was, his smiling reply invariably would be, “Well I’m alive.” He daily told caregivers and visitors that he loved his family and he was a world famous artist. His favorite name for caregivers was, “Honey Bunny” followed by a most sincere “I love you.”

Services will be held at the Jones Van Arsdale Funeral Home, Lebo, Kan., at 1 p.m. Jan. 11. Mr. DeForest’s ashes will be buried at Lincoln Cemetery. The family will receive friends an hour before services.

Memorial contributions may be made to The Alzheimer’s Association.

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