Forrest L. Smith

Published 3:23 pm Monday, October 10, 2016

Forrest L. Smith, age 89, of Biloxi, MS, passed away Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016. He was a Man of God, devoted husband, Veteran, Father and Grandfather. Survived by his wife of 67 years, Julia DeMiller Smith, son, Forrest L. Smith Jr., son, James Keith Smith who preceded him in death, daughter, Ann Satchfield, 6 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren.

Forrest was born on May 2, 1927 in Belhaven, NC to Fred W. Smith and Mary Ellen Cayton. He was the twelfth of thirteen siblings survived by his sister, Francis Martin, the youngest. Forrest was raised on a farm where he acquired his mechanical skills and knowledge, giving him the reputation of being able to build and fix anything.

Forrest enlisted in June of 1945 to serve his country in WWII, and was honorably discharged in August of 1949. While stationed at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, MS during the war, he met the love of his life Julia DeMiller. They were married on August 14, 1949 at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer by Julia’s Father, Rev. E.A DeMiller.

After his discharge from the Air Force he studied at Indiana Tech in Ft. Wayne, IN, and Tulane University in New Orleans, LA from September 1949 to May of 1952, where he pursued the study of Electrical Engineering. In 1952 Forrest joined the Keesler Air Training Command as a Civilian Instructor. During his 34-year career, he held varying positions of responsibility and received the ATC Commendation Award for distinguished performance for his many contributions as a program analyst in his career. His most note-worthy achievement: Prime developer of the “Keesler Ten-Year Plan,” to reduce energy consumption by twenty percent. As a result of his efforts and personal involvement in this program, Keesler was able to achieve a 14.8% reduction in energy in FY 82. Forrest retired in 1983 as a program analyst and remained active in his church and community.

Services were conducted Monday October 10th at 9am, at the Biloxi National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests a donation in his memory to the Disabled American Veterans.