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June 29, 1931 ~ September 11, 2023 (age 92) 92 Years Old
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DeForrest (“Forrest”) Koontz, 92, died September 11, 2023, at SpiriTrust Lutheran Skilled Care, Chambersburg, PA following a long illness. Forrest was born in Chicago, IL, June 29, 1931, the son of Dwight and June Koontz. He is survived by his wife Betty, sons Brian and Michael, daughter in law, Cindy, and five grandchildren, Ian, Terra, Brennan, Vera, and Anna.
Forrest lived his early life in Waseca, MN, and graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Paul, with a Bachelor of Music degree. He then moved to Isle, MN where he built an award-winning public-school music program, and received a Master Teacher certificate from the State of Minnesota.
In 1961, Forrest was inspired to enter the ministry and moved to Boston, MA to study at Andover Newton Theological School. It was in Boston that he met his wife of 60 years, Betty. Upon graduation, he held UCC (United Church of Christ) pastorates in NH and Central NY. During these years, his sons’ Brian and Michael were born.
The Koontz family moved to Charlottesville, VA where Forrest joined the chaplaincy team of University of Virginia Medical Center in1970. He later was instrumental in forming Charlottesville Community Attention Homes, a family-based public treatment program for troubled adolescents which is still in operation. Throughout his career, Forrest derived great satisfaction from working with young people and families, as well as his involvement with music, whether teaching, listening, or playing an instrument. He enjoyed recounting his experiences playing trombone for President Gerald Ford at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and Queen Elizabeth at the University of Virginia.
By 1990 both sons had graduated from college and begun their professional careers. Forrest and Betty moved to Chambersburg, PA in 1991 and joined St. John’s United Church of Christ where Forrest became involved with the Sunday School and home visitation programs and the men’s bowling team. He also volunteered as a music and math tutor for the Cumberland Valley School of Music.
A Memorial Service will be held at St. John’s UCC Sunday, October 8 at 2pm with family visitation beginning at 1pm. A reception will follow the service in the Church Lobby.
In place of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. John’s UCC or the SpiriTrust Lutheran Skilled Care Unit, Chambersburg, PA.