Virgil L. Forney died on April 15, 2016 at home in Yakima, Washington at the age of 91. He was born December 22, 1924 in Cedaredge, Colorado, the youngest of eight siblings, to parents Albert Theodore Forney and Dora Emily (Roberts) Forney.
When Virgil was very young they moved to Oroville, Wash. where the family, starting with almost nothing, began farming tree fruit.
Virgil served in the US Army Air Forces from 1944 to 1946 where he learned skills as an airplane mechanic that would serve him in his long career with the Boeing company. In 1947 Virgil adventured to Alaska and spent a year working on the Alaska Railroad, on a section crew located at Mt. McKinley National Park.
After returning to Oroville, he went to visit his friend Grant Rainsberry to tell him about the trip. Grant wasn’t home but he was invited in and stayed the whole evening. Grant’s dad said after he left “Maybe he was here to see Donna.”
Virgil and Donna L. Rainsberry were married on November 26, 1949. They were inseparable for more than 66 years. Virg worked construction during the early years, including work on Chief Joseph Dam. In 1951, Merlin was born while they lived in Bridgeport, Wash. Kevin followed in 1955, Ann in 1961 and Noel (Brown) Perez joined the family in 1978. Virgil and Donna shared a love of travel, which was needed when Virg began working on the Minuteman Missile project for Boeing. From 1961 to 1970 they moved 14 times. The family finally settled in Everett, Wash. where Virg continued to work for Boeing on modifications. Virg had a gift for taking engineering plans that were not practical to build, and making the changes needed to make them work. In Everett, Virgil and Donna made many lasting friendships and cherished their church family at Cascade View Presbyterian church.
During retirement years they traveled by motor home, eventually visiting all 50 states. They enjoyed trips to many countries around the world. Virg enjoyed building furniture and carving wood. He had an easy way of striking up a conversation, an unfailing sense of humor, a tremendous insight into politics, and a wealth of knowledge through experience and a love of reading. A humble man who quietly blessed all of us.
Virgil is survived by his wife Donna; sons Merlin and Kevin (Marilyn); daughters Ann (Tim) and Noel; brother Merlin; ten grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his parents; his siblings Harold, Floyd, Eula, Frieda, Lois, and Marvin and daughter-in-law Laurel “Lolly” Forney.
The family would like to extend special thanks to Field-stone Memory Care and especially Virg’s favorite caregiver Sam, and Heartlinks Hospice & Palliative Care for their beautiful, tender support.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday July 9, 2016 at Oroville United Methodist Church in Oroville, Wash.. Memorials to honor Virgil’s memory may be directed to Tall Timber Ranch Memorial Fund, 27875 White River Road, Leavenworth, Wash. 98826. Keith & Keith Funeral has been entrusted with arrangements.