Gary Forssell, beloved son, husband, father, grandpa, and brother went home to be with his Lord and Savior, surrounded by members of his loving family on January 8th, 2020.
Born in Northern California to his parents, Roger and Helen, Gary’s life represented integrity, love, and kindness. His birth was announced to his highly decorated pilot father while on a mission, with, “Your son has landed.”
Gary spent his summers on his Grandparents’ ranch where his love for animals, the outdoors, and drawing flourished. His love for fishing and plein art continued and his comments of, “One more cast” while fishing or, “I need just a few more minutes” while painting, became predictable when it came time to pack up his gear and head home.
After earning his Doctor of Pharmacy degree at UCSF Medical Center, he traveled to Hawaii for an internship where he enjoyed surfing and met his future wife, Cheryl. He was drafted while on their honeymoon. He served in the 1st Air Cavalry and earned the Bronze Star while serving in Vietnam. After successfully completing his military service, Gary and Cheryl settled in Santa Barbara where he worked as a pharmacist at Plaza Drug and Payless. They next lived in Mammoth where he was the Chief Pharmacist at Northern lnyo Hospital. He spent his weekends hiking, skiing, and fishing. He enjoyed adventure, a good laugh, and traveling.
They later moved back to Santa Barbara to start their family. Gary was the manager at Scolari’s Pharmacy where his integrity was valued and his wisdom treasured. Upon retirement, he devoted himself to his art, hiking with his buddies Barry & Joe and fishing with his brother-in-law, Ron.
Gary is survived by his wife Cheryl of 51 years, his four children, Heather (Jeremy), Holly (Dean), Heidi (Scott), and Trevor (Bonnie), eight grandchildren, and his siblings, Lynn, Suzanne, and Collin.
A very grateful thank you to his many wonderful caregivers, especially Pablo, Enrique, Jonathon, and Elizabeth, his hospice nurse, as well as the team at Katerina’s Assisted Living Home.
A memorial service will be held on March 14th at 3:00 pm at First United Methodist Church, 305 East Anapamu Street, Santa Barbara, CA. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The School of Extended Learning Art Trust Account #770130, where Gary loved to take art classes.