Gerald L. 'Jerry' Forst

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Gerald L. "Jerry" Forst, 84, of Janesville, passed away at home on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019. He was born in Prairie du Chien, on May 30, 1934, the son of Leonard and Leona (Becwar) Forst. 

Being raised on the family farm and the eldest child of seven, Jerry’s love for farming and diligent hard work came at a young age. Jerry married his loving and devoted wife of 60 years, Catherine “Kay” (Check) Forst on June 12, 1958, at St. John Catholic Church in Prairie du Chien. Shortly after they were married, Kay and Jerry moved to Janesville, with Jerry starting work at the General Motors Company.  There, Jerry’s nickname was “Farmer,” and he would often be seen wearing his “bib over-alls.” For the past 60 years, Jerry was a faithful member of St. Patrick Catholic Church, where he volunteered his time and took pride in polishing the Holy Ornamentations. Jerry attained his 4th Degree with the Knights of Columbus, and was a former Grand Knight of the St. Patrick Council for 11 years. The farmer in Jerry kept him tending to his rose bushes, and he kept a collection of many different things involving farm life, specifically miniature scale farm machinery.  Jerry liked to know things were kept in order, from keeping his fork truck clean and polished, to making sure family always called him when they got home, just to let him know they were safe. Jerry’s love and devotion to his family will live on in their hearts for generations to come. 

 He is survived by his wife, Kay Forst; children, Karen Forst, Nancy (David) Williams, Marlene (Jim) Masterson, Sharon (Mike) Schoeder and Mike (Lucy) Bertelsen; grandchildren, Matthew and Nathan Burt, Rebecca Williams, Nick, Cassidy and Garrett Masterson, Brittany (fiancé, David Masak), Steffi, Andrew (fiancé, Melissa Ellis) and Jacob Schoeder, Chris, Joe, and Steve Bertelsen; siblings, Roger (Edna) Forst, Norita (John) Hollar, Marilyn (John) Piechowski and Dianne (Ron) Goodman; and many extended family members and friends.

Jerry is predeceased by his parents; daughters, Susan Forst (in infancy) and Loraine Bertelsen in 1992; and brothers, Francis Forst in 2018 and Dennis Forst in 2009.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 27, at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Janesville, with the very Rev. Timothy Renz officiating.  Visitation will be held from 4 until 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 26, at Schneider Funeral Home and Crematory, with Knights of Columbus Honours at 6 p.m. Visitation will continue on Wednesday at the church from 10 a.m. until time of Mass.  Burial will be held at the Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery with a luncheon to follow in the Life Celebration Center at the Schneider Funeral Home Campus. 

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