Joseph Forbes


Joseph Paul Forbes passed away on Thursday, November 19, 2020 at Serenity Living Solutions, Blackduck, MN. Joe was born on March 7, 1938 in Fergus Falls, MN to Sybil (Lindquist) Forbes and Arnold Chase Forbes. His parents moved to Bemidji, MN where he was 6 days old. He graduated from Bemidji High School in 1956 and was active in band, on the Honor Society, played football and baseball. Joe earned his Eagle Scout Award through the Boy Scouts of America while attending high school which was the foundation of his many years of service to the organization. Following high school, Joe worked for the State Highway Department. In 1958 he enlisted in the United States Army and served in Korea.

Joe married his high school sweetheart, Joan Chadwick, on August 5, 1961 in Bemidji, MN. They had two children, James and Janelle.

In 1965, Joe graduated from North Dakota State University, in Fargo with a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering. Joe worked for KBM Engineering in Grand Forks, ND until 1969. He and his family moved to Bagley, MN where he was the Clearwater County Engineer for 8 years. Joe was active in the Bagley Lions Club, President 1976, volunteer fire department, Boy Scouts and a member of the Legion where he played taps for many military funerals. Joe and others, were very proud of establishing the Bagley Youth Hockey Program.

Joe and family moved to Bemidji, MN in 1977 when he took the position of Beltrami County Engineer. Later returning to KBM Engineering, opening an office in Bemidji. Through KBM, Joe supported the neighboring towns of Blackduck, Fosston, and Walker as city engineer.

Over the last 40 years, Joe was active in his community supporting the Eagle, Elks, Legion Color Guard, American Legion Club (played taps for many military funerals), President, 1986, Chamber of Commerce, Meals on Wheel, food shelf and others. Joe was also very active in Boy Scouts earning the Silver Beaver Award in 1953.

He was very active in his church and was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Bemidji, where he was a session member for many years as well as serving on other committees. You could find him serving everything from coffee to communion, and washing dishes or sweeping floors.

Joe was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed hunting, fishing, and spending time with family. Every year, he looked forward to the yearly deer hunt near Blackduck, MN with son Jim, son in law, Scott, grandson, Chris, and “bother Jim Knapp. A memorable hunting trip included a successful elk hunt with son, James, and son in law, Scott, to Wyoming in 1996. One of his greatest enjoyments was hunting with his family. He was with his grandson, Chris, when he shot his first goose, grouse, and duck which was a highlight for both grandpa and grandson! He also enjoyed a pontoon ride down the river with family and friends from his home on Lake Marquette to Lake Bemidji. He also enjoyed a good game of golf and spending time with family and grandchildren.

Joe is survived by his wife of 59 years, Joan, son, James (DeDe), Bemidji and daughter, Janelle (Scott) Forbes Rieger, Lake Park, MN, grandson, Chris (Kali Jones) and Nichole (Alex Monson) of Bemidji and Chloe (Jon) Nelson of Lake Park, MN, and great grandchildren, Karter, Kynley, Kendal, Noah and Hali. Joe was preceded in death by his father, mother, sister, Carol Dahlman, and a special cousin, Jim “Brother Knapp” (Janet), Fergus Falls, MN.

Joe will be sadly missed by his wife, children, family, and many whose lives he touched. He was a passionate man who loved a good joke, enjoyed laughter and shared advice to many people whether they wanted it or not.

Condolences may be left at Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, services are planned in the Spring of 2021.

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