John Mackenzie Forrest, 29, passed away unexpectedly in his sleep on March 25, 2022 in the home he shared with Barbara Henderson. He was born July 29,1992 at St. Luke's in New Hartford the son of David Forrest and Doreen Schoen. John attended schools in New York, Montana, and Texas before returning to Utica to complete his secondary studies and graduate from T.R. Proctor High School in Utica with the Class of 2011. John worked several jobs over the years but most of his career was primarily in health care and assisted living. In the last few years of his life John was caring for Barbara Henderson who had unofficially adopted John as her own son and played a significant role in his upbringing since he was 8 years old.
John will be remembered for his passion, activism, compassion, and humor. Even at a very young age John was never afraid to express his opinions and to stand up for what he believed in. Aside from attending protests and rallies, he volunteered at the Missoula Food Bank and organized a class walkout while attending Russell Elementary School in Missoula, Montana. As an adult, John played a key role in unionizing the support staff at Faxton Hospital while he was employed there.
John could easily adapt to any social situation and create funny and memorable experiences for everyone around him. Often, he would make up stories, songs, or even dances relevant to people or events around him and those close to him would share many inside jokes that persisted over the years. In his down time, John enjoyed indie movies, music, and was an avid gamer where his online presence mirrored his effervescent persona.
John is preceded in death by his grandfather, David Sr., grandmother, Hui Chun, grandmother Shirley "Keeka” Henderson, and his godmother and cousin Jessica (Doat) Manoiero.
John is survived by his parents David Forrest, Doreen (Schoen) Thomas and her husband Wayland Thomas, and "second mother" Barbara Henderson; grandparents Violet Doat and partner Linda "Chuchi" Roberts; grandparents John and Janet Schoen; sisters Jennifer (Brown) Coombs and her husband Rob Coombs, Rachelle Cobell and her partner Nathaniel Rice, and Victoria Forrest. Nephews Charlie, Theo, and Seth Coombs and Gabriel Cobell Diate. Cousins DestinyLynn Sortino and Brandon "Bubba" Hughes; his cousin and godfather Joseph Collins and Devin, McKenzie, Teresa, and Kendell Collins; Alex Acquaviva; Karyn, Denise, Nina, and Nathan Forrest. Aunts and Uncles Kelly Schoen, Dawn Acquaviva, Craig and Sylvia Forrest, John and Lorraine Forrest, and Louise Forrest and Leslie Horst. John is additionally survived by numerous other extended family members, both by blood and by choice, as well as the many very close friends his life has touched like Corrina Simpson and Bella Clairmont.
John will be cremated in Polson, Montana and his remains will be brought to New York for the summer.
A Celebration of Life Memorial Picnic will be held in John's honor on July 30, 2022 at Sherrillbrook Park in New Hartford beginning at 11am in the Cedar Pavilion.
He will be buried at sea in the Pacific Ocean in a service concurrent with his grandfather's, David Forrest Sr., on Sunday September 4, 2022. The boat will be sailing from Marina Del Rey in Los Angeles at 4pm.