Gene Forest passed from this world on December 23, 2021 surrounded by his family. He passed at the Hospice of Mercy in Durango, CO after a short illness. Gene was born on his grandfather’s homestead near Lewis, CO on June 22, 1933 to Melvin and Eva (Jewell) Forest, the third of four children. He attended grade school in Lewis and graduated from Cortez High School in 1951. After high school he serviced two years in the US Army and was stationed at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, CO.
Gene returned from the service and raised livestock and farmed in Lewis for several years. He was blessed with two little girls, Judy and Ellen from his first marriage. In 1966 Gene started working as a trader at Rock Point Trading Post in Arizona. Gene loved working for the Navajo people buying livestock, purchasing rugs and jewelry and getting to know the Navajo traditions. He learned to speak Navajo with the help of a little girl who came to the Trading Post every day. Gene always spoke fondly of his fourteen years at various trading posts. He was part owner of the Sweet Water trading post and loved every minute of the adventure.
In 1981 Gene married the love of his life, Felicite, and they were together for 40 wonderful years. They were constant companions whether working at their business or enjoying life. Together they combined two families and ran two successful businesses in Payson, AZ.
After retirement they moved to Snowflake, AZ and made many wonderful memories with their large family and growing grandchildren. In 2009 Gene and Felicite moved to Durango, CO to be closer to their kids and grandkids.
Gene had a wonderful sense of humor and was an amazing story teller. He had all the best stories and experiences that were always full of funny descriptions and he loved to share them with the whole family and friends. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather and friend.
Surviving Gene are his loving wife of 40 years Felicite; daughter Judy (Ron) Marquez of Lewis, Ellen Keith of Mancos; step sons, Clint (Sherry) Simmons of Lewis, Shawn (Michele) Simmons of Payson, AZ; step daughter, Julie Harman of Durango; 15 grandchildren; and numerous great grandkids and great-great grandkids; one surviving sister, Patricia Clements of Grand Junction, CO; brother-in-law, John Butler of Palisade, CO; and sister-in-law, Ruby Forest of Reno, NV. He was preceded in death by his parents; brother Robert T (Bob) Forest; sister Doris Butler; and step son Orren Simmons.
Funeral Services will be held at Ertel Funeral Home on Thursday December 30, 2021 at 2:00 PM with interment at the Lewis Cemetery.