Early morning of September 13th, 2020 at 0500, Forrest passed away after battling cancer for many years, comforted by his wife in his home in Sidney, Montana. He was 71 years old.
Forrest was born to William and Mary Markle on May 3, 1949 in Sidney Montana, Richland County. He was the third son and the fifth child. He was born ten years after the fourth child. Sort of a surprise! Forrest was spoiled by his sister, Nancy who was the closest in age. When he was 5 years old, he would go deliver eggs with his dad to all the local grocery stores. The barn held 3000 laying hens and they had to gather eggs three times a day. Forrest traveled with his parents in an old station wagon to Alaska on the Trans-Canada highway, when it was still a gravel road. He could still taste the dust. Forrest spent a summer helping his brother Roger work on a crab boat in Alaska when he was 14 years old.
He loved to fish and never stopped thinking about the next fishing adventure. Keeping it simple, needing only a hook, line, and sinker; and sitting on the bank of a river.
Forrest graduated from high school in 1967. He did a couple of semesters at Billings College. When his friend, Patrick Devior talked him into enlisting into the Marine Corp. He is still mad at Patrick. Every time they got together, Patrick would ask “are you still upset?” and Forrest would say “yep” and then they would go out for supper. Forrest did a twelve-month tour in Vietnam, in 1968 and discharged in 1969. During that tour Forrest caught malaria twice and received a combat action ribbon.
In 1969 he came back to the states and spent that summer on the farm. He went to college in Missoula and Kalispell. His brother, Robert was making pottery and told Forrest to look into taking pottery classes. The idea of having no boss, doing everything on your own time and having no one telling you what to do convinced Forrest. He took the classes from Jim Flarity and became a potter.
Forrest met Laurie Pappin and they were married on May 30th, 1971. They lived in Kalispell for three years until the spring of 1974 when they moved to Great Falls and bought their second home. Their first son Kristopher was born in 1975 and Forrest opened his pottery studio and named it Sunshine Pottery. Forrest moved back to the farm in March of 1977 when his dad passed away so his mom could stay on the farm. Their second child Aleas was born in Great Falls and then Laurie and the kids moved to the farm in November of 1977. Forrest built his log house and worked doing pottery. He eventually bought the farm and went into the sod business. Their third child Padraic was born while they lived on the farm in 1981. Forrest and Laurie divorced in February 1983. Kristopher stayed on the farm with Papa and Grandma Mary; Aleas and Padraic went with their mother.
In 1985 Kelly Larsen Krugler, who had three children of her own, Cole, Carl, and Carmen, moved in with Forrest and Kristopher in the log cabin. Grandma Mary continued to live in her own home across the barnyard.
The house was full in the summertime, requiring bunkbeds in three of the four bedrooms. Aleas and Padraic spent summers with their Papa. Good but difficult times were had by all. It was the farm version of the “Brady Bunch”, with the kids all being very close in age. Cole was born in 74, Kristopher in 75, Carl in 76, Aleas in 77, Carmen in 78, and Padraic in 81.
Sometimes they fished after supper on the Yellowstone or packed everyone into the truck with a topper and headed to Fort Peck for a long weekend. At times, they had to separate the kids while in the truck, so the seating arrangement alternated a Markle kid with and a Krugler kid. This was due to one particularly memorable event in which Aleas had Padraic pinned to the roof of the topper with her feet while he swung at her futilely.
As a family they worked the sod farm and raised raspberries, selling them out of their vehicle in town. Forrest did pottery during the winter.
Forrest continued to enjoy fishing, ice fishing, at Fort Peck, on the Yellowstone, Mexico, and Canada – anywhere –any kind.
He enjoyed hunting pheasants with his friends and family. He was a good shot and a very safe hunter. The kids all wanted to be as good of a shot as their Papa was. He had well behaved golden retrievers. They made hunting easy. Those retrievers were Shiner, Molly, and Reika. Forrest liked hunting whitetail and mule deer in the fall. He processed the meat himself making jerky, sausage, and other deliciousness.
Forrest and Kelly married at the courthouse on September 21, 1998, after living together for 13 years. Kelly always told him that she wanted one carat for every year they weren’t married but lived together (of course she meant a diamond). Kelly never did get the diamond, but he did bring her thirteen carrots from the garden once.
Forrest was always up for an adventure. He enlisted himself and Kelly as a crew on a sailboat to help an elderly gentleman take his boat, The Zephyr, across from the Baja California SUR to the San Carlos, mainland Mexico. There they met a man who had a fishing business on the Baja. The Fisherman’s Fleet became a favorite fishing destination for Forrest and Kelly for years, which they shared with friends and family.
Forrest included his family on his yearly adventure of going into the back country of Saskatchewan, Canada where they would drive to the end of the road and then take a boat or a plane to a cabin and be off the grid for a number of days. Forrest and Kelly enjoyed being in nature and dodging the occasional bear.
Forrest never ever wanted a cell phone, but he did love his computer. He loved the ability to get knowledge, news, recipes, and music through the internet. He loved that he never had to go into a store to do his shopping. He was a no fuss, no frills kind of guy and enjoyed the freedom of not having to deal with a crowd of people.
He loved his kids and step kids, all of the grandkids and step grandkids. He did worry about their future and the state of the country and what he fought for. Forrest was very proud of his family and their accomplishments. They are all hard working, family-oriented individuals.
Forrest’s mother called him “Butch”, the kids called him “Papa” and the grandkids called him “Grand Papa.” All of his friends called him Forrest with 2 “r’s”. He will be missed.
Special thanks to the visiting nurse and the cancer center for helping out and reacting quickly in a time of great need. It was very much appreciated.
Forrest is survived by his wife, Kelly, son Kristopher Robert Markle, son Padraic Tucker Markle, grandsons, Liam Thomas Wiley Markle and Kaito Reed Tsukuda Markle , Daughter Aleas Lorelle Aschelman (Vance), granddaughters Eleanor Grace Aschelman and Lillius Elaine Aschelman, stepson Cole James Krugler (Nichole) step granddaughter Ella Monique Krugler, stepson, Carl Kelly Krugler (Brandi) step granddaughter Brenae Stead (Chris), step great-granddaughter Ellie, stepdaughter Carmen Jean Huffman (Jeff) step granddaughters, Sage Autumn Roth (Louis), Brooke Jean Huffman
Preceded in death by William and Mary Markle, brothers Robert and Roger Markle, brother in law Ronnie Sannes, sister in law Mary Markle, step daughter in law Lori Krugler, step granddaughter Meghan Paige Krugler.
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