Lyinel Tinsley Forrest Jr., affectionately known as “June” passed away on Sept. 29, 2019 surrounded by his loving family.
He was the oldest of nine children born to Lionel and Montrue Forrest on Feb. 16, 1948 in the Port Haywood community of Mathews County. He was baptized at an early age and was a member of Antioch Baptist Church in the Susan community.
At the age of 15, he started work as a seasonal dock hand with Henry Owens & Son in New Point. He was educated in the Mathews County School System where he was a member of the Class of 1966 at Thomas Hunter School. During that same year he volunteered for the United States Army. While waiting for his draft induction, he moved to Highland Park, Michigan (a suburb of Detroit) and worked for Ford Motor Company as an Engine Assembler. June received his official induction to the military in June of 1967. In November of that same year he was first married; from that union, he became father to his firstborn daughter, Michelle Deneese.
During his military career he served with the 101st Airborne Division and was deployed to Vietnam in November 1967. While in Vietnam he was wounded in action in 1968 and received several accommodations: Vietnam Service Medal with three Bronze Stars/ Meritorious Unit Commendation/ Combat Infantryman Badge/ Purple Heart/ Sharpshooter Qualification Badge with Rifle Bar/ Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm Unit Citation Badge/Expert Qualification Badge with Rifle Bar and Machine Gun Bar. Due to the injury sustained in battle, he was honorably discharged in June of 1969, and returned to his position with Ford Motor Company.
After relocating back to his hometown in 1972 he worked in the fishing industry in Virginia and in Louisiana as a Menhaden Fisherman for six years.
In 1975 “June” married Catherine Diggs of Cardinal and became step-father to Byron Ward. From the marriage union he fathered his firstborn son Taiwan and another daughter Shavon.
“June” was a fun-loving husband, dad, brother, grandfather and friend. He had a very unique and sometimes “dry” sense of humor, when he told jokes; they were not always obviously funny, but once you “got it,” the impact was non-stop gut-busting laughing! “While enjoying his favorite hobby of hunting deer, he had the reputation of being a skilled marksman and hardly missed his target!”
He soon found his way back to “Uncle Sam,” the (federal government) and began a 25-year career at the Yorktown Naval Weapons Station where he retired in 2006. He became well versed on the veterans and Social Security benefits and was an advocate to many veterans who sought information and guidance.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Lionel and Montrue Forrest; his brother, Joseph Forrest; paternal grandparents, Moses and Beatrice Forrest; maternal grandparents, Vanvelt and Mary Miles, and his in-laws, Wormley and Ophelia Diggs.
He leaves to cherish his memory his devoted wife, Catherine Forrest of Cobbs Creek; three loving children, Michelle Maxwell (Ray) of Hampton, Taiwan Forrest (Michelle) of Susan, Shavon Forrest of Petersburg, and step-son, Byron Ward of Gloucester; one son-in-law, Ray Maxwell and one daughter-in-law, Michelle L. Forrest; six brothers, Robert Forrest (Brenda) of Jonesboro, Georgia, Ronald Forrest of Cardinal, Franklin Forrest (Monica) of Susan, Daniel Forrest Sr. of Locust Hill, Steven Forrest Sr. (Antichella) of Hallieford, David Forrest (Davelyn) of Sandston; one sister, Joszette Jones (J. Michael) of Southfield, Michigan; seven grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; two aunts, Geraldine Epps (Wallace) of Sterling Heights, Michigan and Irene Forrest of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; one great-aunt, Noris Crawley of Charles City; two brothers-in-law, Hollis Diggs Sr. of Cardinal and J. Michael Jones of Southfield, Michigan; other sisters-in-law, Fannie Diggs Ware, Francis Diggs, and Gertrude Diggs, all of Cardinal. His memory will also be cherished by a host of many devoted, loving nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Funeral service was held on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019 at Zion Baptist Church Cardinal, officiated by Pastor Johnny A. Wallace; the eulogy was conducted by his brother, Apostle Dr. Steven A. Forrest, Kingdom Covenant Ministries. Burial will be in Arlington National Cemetery.
Arrangements entrusted to Knight Funeral Home, Inc. Mathews.