December 13, 1921 - April 7, 2021
HUBERT HENRY FORBES A LIFE OF LOVE, SERVICE, and GRACE Hubert Henry Forbes was born December 13, 1921 at Lakeside Hospital located across the street from Bixler Lake in Kendallville, Indiana. Christened in Kendallville's First Methodist Church on October 29, 1922, he became a full member of the church at age 12. He was a member of St. Matthew United Methodist Church in Lubbock, Texas at the time of his death-making him an 87-year member of the Methodist Church. He was not a church member in name only; he was a church member in the way he lived each and every day. He loved God and worked diligently to love his neighbor as himself. He was active in church ministries beginning in his elementary years, and in high school served as president of the Epworth League, now known as the United Methodist Youth Fellowship (UMYF). He always remembered and loved the words shared at the end of each Epworth meeting: "May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace." Active in many God-centered endeavors, his service extended throughout adulthood. Along with Mary, his wife of 71 years, he served as a UMYF leader, sponsored their hometown teen center, wrote and directed teen plays, fundraised with spaghetti dinners, pancake dinners, and any kind of dinner he could think of, raked leaves with the youth every fall, planned and hosted garage sales, taught Sunday School, served on church finance committees and the Board of Trustees, was a member of the Ed White Memorial Youth Center Board of Directors, and delivered Meals on Wheels for many, many years. His beloved wife Mary was his constant partner in crime! He first met Mary when he sat behind her in church at Marshall (Illinois) First United Methodist in May of 1948. Love at first sight, she invited him to her parents for dinner and a game of ping pong, and a mere six weeks later, in June of 1948, they married. Mary and Hu had two children, James and Kathryn. They made sure their children always had Sunday School perfect attendance records, traveled to all fifty states (even Alaska and Hawaii) before high school graduation, visited multiple national parks and American presidents' homes, and, like their parents, found ways to serve their church and community. Using her jigsaw, Mary meticulously cut out each wooden letter of the scripture, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord," to hang in her home when the children were very young. Hu worked as a chemical engineer, the family moving frequently due to his job. They made it a point to hang the verse in a prime location in each new house before doing anything else. James and Kathryn witnessed their parents making this verse come alive on a regular basis. To this day, the verse remains important to the extended Forbes family. Hu graduated from Purdue University in 1943, taking his first professional position at Hooker Electrochemical Corporation in Niagara Falls, New York. At Purdue he was continually active on campus playing in the Purdue Symphonic Orchestra, joining Acacia Fraternity, writing and editing stories for Purdue's yearbook (The Debris), and participating in a war years accelerated graduation program, allowing him to earn his engineering degree in three years instead of four. Soon after beginning work for Hooker, he was drafted into the United States Army Air Corps (later renamed the Air Force). He was stationed at the US Army Air Force Testing Ground in Eglin Field, Florida, and was assigned to analyze weapon systems on airplanes. As World War II wound down, Hu was offered a chance to be discharged early and left Florida as an Air Force sergeant. Following his discharge, Hu took a job with Velsicol Chemical Corporation, working in the Development Department. The Velsicol job led him straight to Marshall, Illinois, where he first sat behind Mary in church. He also met another love in Marshall-his first car, a 1948 maroon Hudson he purchased for $500. Velsicol wanted to promote him to a job in Chicago, but Mary's family did not want her moving to such a large city. Mary's mother knew the plant manager of the nearby Ohio Oil Company (later renamed Marathon) in Robinson, Illinois. Hu began working at the refinery in 1955 and was employed with Marathon until retirement as head of the Texas City plant engineering department in 1987. Marathon sent Hu to work in refineries in many locations from Illinois to Spain to England to California to Texas. The Forbes' loved every place they lived, building friendships across the United States. Hu also had a lifelong love of music. He often liked to tell about one of his first experiences in elementary school music class where the teacher divided her students into nightingales, robins, and sparrows. Nightingales were the best singers and got to play drums. Hu recalled his dismay when he was named a sparrow and had to play the sticks! His musical acumen improved over the years, playing the flute and piccolo in the Kendallville High School Band and High School Orchestra. He also learned to play the saxophone and clarinet for the school dance band. He further pursued music at Purdue University and later joined Mary, who played the French horn, to perform with the Marshall City Band. The band played every Thursday night in the bandstand in the town square. It was the social event of the week with townspeople showing up to listen to music, eat popcorn, and walk around the square, many enjoying old romances and some looking for new. He additionally joined a local dance band in which he wore a tan tuxedo and black pants. They performed every Saturday night at the American Legion. Hu bemoaned the fact that he only got $9 for each performance and even had to buy his own tuxedo. (It was used!) Model railroading was another favorite hobby. He fell in love with railroading because his father worked as a switchman for the New York Central lines. Hu built a huge, detailed model railroading layout in his home which his grandchildren enjoyed for many years. He was also immensely proud to be of Scottish descent and especially loved the Forbes family motto: "Grace me guide." Hu is survived by his son James and his wife Jane of Lubbock, and his daughter Kathryn and her husband Dewey Selmon of Norman, Oklahoma, along with his 12 grandchildren: James, Joanna, Jonathan, Joy, Joshua, Joseph, Shannon, Megan, Lauren, Zachary, Christiana, and Gabrielle. He was over the moon to have 15 great-grandchildren: Charis, Lydiann, Mercy, Jimmy, Cheyenne, Olivia, Kai, Knox, Ava, Grant, Layne, Hannah, Seven, Shayne, and Rylee (with more on the way)! His beloved Mary went to meet the Lord in 2019. He stood by her side through thick and thin, personifying Ephesians' definition of a husband; he loved Mary "just as Christ loved the church." We will never forget Dad's strong and compassionate leadership, his joy in singing hymns, how he loved to laugh, his dedication to each and every one of us, and his desire to unceasingly serve the Lord.
HUBERT HENRY FORBES A LIFE OF LOVE, SERVICE, and GRACE Hubert Henry Forbes was born December 13, 1921 at Lakeside Hospital located across the street from Bixler Lake in Kendallville, Indiana. Christened in Kendallville's First Methodist... View Obituary & Service Information
Obituary & Service
HUBERT HENRY FORBES
A LIFE OF LOVE, SERVICE, and GRACE
Flowers & Gifts
Send flowers to the Forbes family.Send Flowers