James ‘Herschel’ Forgey



James “Herschel” Forgey, 89, of Brownstown passed away on October 28, 2017.

Herschel was a lifelong resident of Brownstown, lifelong member of the United Methodist Church and valedictorian of his 1946 Brownstown High School class. After serving in the U.S. Army in Korea from 1950 to 1952, Herschel was employed as a lineman and service tech for Jackson County REMC for 41 years.

Herschel was born August 13, 1928, in Brownstown, the son of James and Edith McNiece Forgey. Herschel married Berniece Barnett, to which he lovingly referred to as “Honey-Babe,” in 1958, daughter of Mary Barnett Spurgeon and stepdaughter to Clarence “Spurg” Spurgeon, the owners and operators of Spurgeon’s General Store, a longtime business in downtown Ewing. Upon Spurg’s passing, Herschel was like a son to Mary Spurgeon and also a brother to Harriett Barnett Howard, Bernice’s younger sister.

Herschel was a member of the VFW, Historical Society, Masonic Lodge, Knights of Pythias, Genealogical Society and Scottish Rites and was involved in the community affairs of the Jackson County Fair and Fort Vallonia Days. Herschel was once recognized by the Brownstown community as Volunteer of the Year. Herschel loved working outside, at the family farm, volunteering and helping others, his Lionel trains, his many cats and eating at his favorite restaurant, Cracker Barrel.

Survivors include nieces, Jayne Forgey Croghan of Indianapolis, Barbara Cotz of Okemos, Michigan, and Susan Schneider of Maineville, Ohio; and two nephews, James Forgey of Hamden, Connecticut, and Steven Forgey of Lansing, Michigan. Herschel is also survived by his sister-in-law, Harriett Barnett Howard, of Scottsdale, Arizona; his brother-in-law, Rev. Lloyd Fredrick Howard, formerly of Seymour, of Scottsdale, Arizona; nieces, Cathy (Howard) Clem of Scottsdale, Arizona, and Cheryl (Howard) Briney of Scottsdale, Arizona, and nephews, David Howard of Kirkwood, Missouri, and Myke Howard of Houston, Texas.

Herschel was preceded in death by his wife, Berniece Barnett; his parents, James and Edith McNiece Forgey; his mother-in-law and father-in-law, Mary Barnett Spurgeon and Spurg Spurgeon; and his two brothers, Harry Forgey and Floyd Forgey.

The funeral service will be at 1 p.m. Friday, November 3 at Spurgeon Funeral Home Inc. in Brownstown with the Rev. David Ison officiating. Friends may call from 10 a.m. until time of service Friday at the funeral home.

A Masonic service will be at 12:30 p.m. Friday, November 3 at the funeral home by Washington Lodge 13 F&AM. Interment will be at Fairview Cemetery in Brownstown.

Military honors will be presented by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1925, American Legion Post 89, Disabled American Veterans 47 and Vietnam Veterans 7.

Memorials may be given to Surprise United Methodist Church or Hoosier Christian Village Auxiliary in Brownstown.

Online memorials and condolences may be given at spurgeonfh.com.

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