Obituary of Henry Gotwood Forward
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FORWARD, HENRY G. River John It is with profound sadness that we announce the sudden passing of Henry Gotwood Forward of River John at home on June 6th, 2023. A proud Cape Bretoner, Henry was born on April 1, 1936, in Glace Bay to parents Christena (MacNeil) and Henry Forward. Henry was a former coal miner at No. 12 New Waterford mine and a long-haul trucker with Maritime Packers. He then moved to Ontario for 6 years, where he worked at Goodyear. He later moved his family to River John, which he quickly embraced and proudly called home. He worked as a delivery driver for Scotia Oxygen and later Air Liquide in New Glasgow until his retirement. Along his truck routes, he made many friends. Henry was an avid reader of Louis L'Amour novels and loved a good game of crib and euchre. He was well-known for playing the guitar and singing in church, at variety concerts, and most recently at Willow Lodge Nursing Home in Tatamagouche. Henry was a passionate hunter and outdoorsman. Anyone who entered his home was proudly shown his 21-point buck mount from 1984. He delighted in sharing his love of hunting with his sons, daughter, Laurie, and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. A natural, expressive storyteller, Henry loved sharing stories, jokes, and pulling pranks. His wit and humor stayed with him, leaving everyone smiling and laughing. Henry had a special way of making you feel welcome and loved. Henry was active in his community, serving as a former member of the River John Volunteer Fire Department, where he earned his 25-year pin. He was also a former member of the Independent Order of Oddfellows Branch 34. Henry was a member of St. George's Presbyterian Church, where he served as an elder for 50 years. He was also involved in the Pictou West Cat and Raccoon Club, supporting and organizing the Annual Fishing Derby, and the IWK Hunts. Henry and Elaine enjoyed many hours supporting first their children, then their grandchildren and great-grandchildren in all their endeavors. There was a lot of love in their home. In his retirement, Henry, affectionately called Poppy by his grandchildren, was often a chauffeur to many sporting events and tryouts as well as appointments. A devoted family man, he is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Elaine Forward; and his treasured children, Laurie Forward (Mark) of Dartmouth; Beryl (Rickey) Reid of New Glasgow; Maureen (John) vanVeld of Green Hill; Tammy (Darren) Langille of River John; Hank Forward of River John; Jason (Sarah) Forward of West Branch; Trina (James) Spaulding of Stellarton; and son-in-law, Fred Falconer of Melville. He is also survived by 17 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren (with 2 more arriving this month); sisters-in-law, Beryl (Bill) Swallow of River John; Maurita (Bill) MacLeod of New Glasgow; Arlene Lane of Riverglade; and Joan Redmond of River John; as well as many nieces, nephews, and friends. Besides his parents, Henry was predeceased by his beloved daughter, Mattie Elaine Falconer; great-grandson, Hank Reid; sisters, Annie MacPherson, Fannie Howell, Liz Budge; brother, John MacNeil; parents-in-law, Lloyd and Mattie Redmond and brother-in-law, Donnie Redmond. Henry was the last surviving member of his immediate family. A funeral service will be held 2PM Saturday, June 10th, at St. George's Presbyterian Church, with Rev. Enjei Achah officiating. Cremation has taken place. Interment will immediately follow the service at Hamilton Cemetery, River John. All are welcome. There will be no visitation, per Henry's request. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the River John Action Society or a charity of your choice. www.mclarenfuneral.ca "The finest gift in life is family."