American Veteran 01

John B. Forrer

April 5, 1920 ~ June 6, 2021 (age 101)


John B. “Jack” Forrer

John B. “Jack” Forrer, 101, a proud veteran of World War II, died at home in Santa Fe, NM on June 6, 2021, the 77th anniversary of D-Day. He was born on April 5, 1920 in Harrisburg, PA to Charles P. and Rachael E. Forrer (née Baker). He graduated from William Penn High School in Harrisburg and was enrolled in business school when he enlisted in the Army on February 3, 1941.

While stationed in Philadelphia as an Army recruiter, Jack met the love of his life, Kathleen Sullivan, at the YMCA.  They married in 1943 and spent the next 53 years together, raising one daughter and sharing many adventures.

He was posted to Europe in April, 1945, earning two bronze battle stars for service in France and Germany. In January 1946, he returned home, having received a field commission to Second Lieutenant. On his honorable discharge, his commanding officer wrote a one-word description of Jack’s character:  “Excellent.” That word held true throughout his life.

After being discharged from the Army, Jack went to work for Washington National Insurance Company. By the time he retired in 1984, he had risen through the ranks from agent to executive vice president. He and his wife Kathleen moved to Santa Fe in 1988.  After his wife’s death in 1996, Jack took his first trip to Yellowstone National Park, returning almost every year thereafter until the pandemic hit. He had an abiding passion for people, the National Parks, books, and, most of all, Notre Dame football.

Jack is survived by his daughter Kathleen and by his sisters Arlene Morrissey and Sharon Roat. He is also survived by his nieces Suzanne Baird and Audrey Balthazor; by his nephews Charles Porter, Scott Stafford, Randy Roat, and Christopher Roat; by their children and grandchildren; by his cousin Patricia Watts; and by a multitude of friends. To paraphrase Will Rogers, Jack never met a person he didn’t like, politics notwithstanding.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Kathleen and by his parents, his brother Charles X. Forrer, and his sisters Dorothy Forrer, Margaret J. Forrer, and Audrey Stafford.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions in Jack’s name be made to the veterans’ organization of your choice or to Yellowstone Forever at A committal service will take place on June 14th at 9:00 AM at the Santa Fe National Cemetery. A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John B. Forrer, please visit our floral store.


June 14, 2021

9:00 AM
Santa Fe National Cemetery (Santa Maria de la Paz)

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