OSWEGO, NY – It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of William R. DeForest Jr. who moved on in the wee hours of the day, which is typical given that Bill was always an early riser, on Saturday, March 26, 2016, at Upstate University Hospital, Syracuse.
Born in Staten Island, NY, on December 30, 1939, as an only child he was the apple of his parents’ eyes.
He left Staten Island to attend the State University of New York College at Oswego, where he graduated with a BS in education, and went on to teach history, social studies and geography at John C. Birdlebough High School in Phoenix for 32 years.
Bill was loved and respected by his many students and fellow teachers.
Bill was an avid fisherman and took great pleasure in catch and release fishing along all of CNY lakes and streams.
He enjoyed tying his own flies and being involved in water conservation.
At one time, he held the title of president of Trout Unlimited in the CNY Chapter.
He shared his love of fishing with his family, friends and beloved students.
esides fishing, his second love was building and flying model airplanes and rockets.
He was a member of The Oswego Valley Modelaires club.
Bill built many amazing replica airplanes.
In most recent years he developed a strong interest in building rockets which he flew out at Mexico Point.
Some of his rockets reached more than 1,000 feet, which he was very proud of.
He was predeceased by his parents, William and Josephine DeForest.
He is survived by his children, Linda DeForest, Billy DeForest and Cindy DeForest; his grandson, Sam Peden; his wife and best friend, Earleen DeForest; and his son in all but name, Christopher Barnhart.
There will be a memorial service where friends can come and share memories and special moments in his life on Thursday, March 31, from 5-7 p.m. at the Dowdle Funeral Home in Oswego, NY.
We hope you are catching the “Big Fish” by a beautiful stream in Heaven, Pops.
We love you.