James William Forbes


James William Forbes, 81, of Center, passed away peacefully at his home on Thursday, July 7, 2016.
Visitation will be held 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Saturday, July 9, 2016, at Watson & Sons Funeral Home in Center.  Funeral service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Sunday, July 10, 2016, at First Baptist Church in Center with Bro. Carl Smith and Bro. Bobby Bressman officiating.  Interment will follow at Oaklawn Memorial Park in Center.
James William Forbes was born January 30, 1935, to Guilford and Mildred Teague Forbes in their home on a hill overlooking Mt. Ida, Arkansas.  The family moved a few years later to Mena, Arkansas, where James attended school and graduated in May, 1953.
He worked that summer as a Smokejumper in Missoula, Montana.  Upon his return to Mena in August, he married his high school sweetheart, Ann Campbell. They moved to Magnolia, Arkansas, where he attended Southern State College and where their first child, Angela, was born.
In 1955, they moved back to Mena, Arkansas, where he worked for the Renova Shirt Factory and then the Arkansas Highway Department.  Soon after their daughter, Janet, was born, he began employment with the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey until August, 1961, when they moved to Center, Texas. He traveled with the survey team, working in West Virginia and up and down the East Coast from Main to Southern Florida.
James’ employment in Center was with the Soil Conservation Service.  James “Jimmy” Forbes was born the following year.  Hobbies include fishing, reading, hunting, church activities and just enjoying life in East Texas.
He was a member of the Center Volunteer Fire Department, where he served as Secretary/Treasurer; a member of the Center City Council, Weather Observer for the National Weather Service, where he received several prestigious awards.  On April 25, 2016, the Chamber of Commerce awarded James with Distinguished Citizen Award, one of the highest awards they give.
He is survived by
Wife of 62 years: Ann Forbes of Center
Angela Crelia Worsham and husband, Rick, of Center
Janet Oliver Yates and husband, Billy, of Center
Jimmy Forbes and partner, Daniel Nadler, of Bozeman, Montana
Sterling Crelia and fiancé, Jana Hagler, of Center
Amanda Kirby and husband, Kris, of Center
Landon Oliver and wife, Rita, of Center
Charla Warr and husband, Matt, of Center
Marina Permenter and husband, Hurchell, of Center
Tiffany Schillings and husband, Anthony, of Center
Samantha Ranft and husband, Brandt, of Waco
Jeremy Yates of Huntsville
Great Grandchildren:
Macy Mayo
Makayla Mayo
Mason Mayo
Jamie Warr
Clay Warr
Madison Kirby
Slade Kirby
Sawyer Kirby
Kaylee Jo Oliver
Brooklyn Oliver
Lily Grace Oliver
Daylon Fountain
Alexis Schillings
Jaden Yanez
Calista Schillings
Preston Schillings
Aubree Swearingen
Clinton Forbes
Emilee Permenter
Kynzlee Permenter
Kale Ranft
Numerous cousins and friends
Preceded in death by
Parents: Guilford and Mildred Forbes
Pallbearers will be Rick Worsham, Billy Yates, Sterling Crelia, Kris Kirby, Landon Oliver, Matt Warr, Joe D. Anderson and Keith Byndon.  Honorary pallbearers will be James Crelia, Hurchell Permenter, Center Firemen and Center City Council.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be sent to Center Volunteer Fire Department, First Baptist Church and Affinity Hospice.
Online condolences & tributes can be sent at

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