Leona C. Forster

FARMINGTON – Leona Forster, 81, of Farmington, passed peacefully into the arms of God on Monday, Sept. 16, 2019. while surrounded by her family. Leona was born in Olmstedville, N.Y., Nov. 6, 1937, the daughter of Christina Hanniffy and Leo Sheehan. She married Richard Forster in 1958 at Chestertown, N.Y. They moved to Farmington in 1964 and brought up their children in this area. She was an active member of the community and had a positive impact on countless lives.Leona was employed by SAD #9 for 22 years, spending most of those years as a beloved secretary at the Kenneth Foster Vocational Center at Mt. Blue High School. Leona was very active at St Joseph’s Parish in Farmington. During the tenure of pastor Fr. Joseph McKenna, she was the religious education coordinator. As a member of the Ladies’ Altar Guild she initiated a program to provide after-funeral luncheons for grieving families. This involved making phone calls, shopping for supplies and baking wonderful desserts. She continued this work up until recently. Leona also served as co-chair of the Guild for five years. In addition, after her retirement, she volunteered at the Care and Share Food Pantry for many years. Leona enjoyed travelling with Dick, and they were often joined by their friends Norma and Gene Montena from New York, who were responsible for setting Leona and Dick up on a blind date in 1957. Some of the trips they took included Alaska, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Colonial Williamsburg, and the Von Trapp Lodge in Vermont. They also visited Florida several times; and took each of their grandchildren to Disney World.One of Leona and Dick’s most memorable trips was one they took to Ireland in 2011. Leona’s family originated in Galway. During their trip they were able to visit her relatives, some of whom she had never met in person. They spent a day in the cottage where her mother grew up, and chatted with family as they sat by the same peat-burning fireplace that had once heated the home.Leona loved music! She and Dick attended countless concerts featuring their son Andy’s band students. They were also in the audience of nearly every public concert by the Downeast Brass, a band in which Andy plays trumpet.Many wonderful memories were made at their condo in Rangeley, where they frequently hosted gatherings of family and friends. Leona enjoyed attending Our Lady of the Lakes Church in Oquossoc, and especially liked the priest there, Fr. Paul Plante. Children were Leona’s passion. She was the champion of any child who was lacking anything, whether it be clothing, sneakers, food, or most of all, love. Her warm hugs were well-known by both children and adults. Her own children were her pride and joy. Being a mom was perhaps her greatest gift.She is survived by her husband of 61 years, Richard; daughter, Teresa Ann Cleary and her husband, Jason of Somersworth, N.H., and two sons, Dr. Richard Forster and his wife, Maureen from Holliston, Mass. and Andrew Forster and his wife, Dr. Alicia Forster from Oakland. She has three grandchildren, Erin Rose Cleary from Somersworth, N.H. and Tyler and Daniel Forster from Holliston, Mass. Leona is also survived by a brother, John B. Sheehan from Minerva, N.Y. and a sister, Rose Marie Morse and her husband, Frederick from Minerva, N.Y. She was predeceased by her parents; and two sisters, Teresa Beattie and Patricia Ross and one brother, W. Michael Sheehan. The family would like to extend their deepest gratitude to the outstanding staff at Sandy River Center in Farmington and Androscoggin Home Healthcare and Hospice. Leona received excellent and loving care in her last months.Family and friends are invited to visit on Thursday, Sept. 19, from 5-7 p.m. at the Wiles Remembrance Center, 137 Farmington Falls Road, Farmington. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, from St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Middle Street, Farmington, followed by a luncheon at the Parish Hall. Condolences and tributes may be shared with her family on her memorial wall at www.wilesrc.com. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or stjude.org

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