William J. Forseth was born to Ruth and Richard Forseth in Grand Forks, North Dakota, on February 11, 1922. He grew up in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, where he finished high school. He was drafted and served in the army during World War II and was discharged as a Lieutenant officer in the field artillery.
William (Bill) met his wife, Margie Anderson, a high school teacher in Detroit Lakes, and they married on December 27, 1947.
After the war Bill finished a BA degree at the University of Minnesota. He taught high school and became a principal of Audubon, Minnesota; Stephen, Minnesota; and Wadena, Minnesota. In 1957, he earned a doctorate degree at the University of North Dakota. When he was a high school teacher and principal, he was active in the Minnesota Education Association and the Minnesota Association of Secondary School Principals.
In 1957, the family moved to Bemidji, Minnesota, where he was employed at Bemidji State University. While teaching at the university, he served as a member of the education department. He became an active member of the Minnesota Advisory Committee on Teacher Certification. He worked to establish the Minnesota Teacher Professional Standards Council, an organization designed to give teachers a voice in setting education standards for teachers. The Bemidji State University Upward Bound Program started under his direction. This program has operated for more than 30 years and has given many high school students motivational experiences to continue their post high school education.
A member of the First Lutheran Church of Bemidji, he also belonged to the Bemidji Lions Club, American Legion, and Elks Club. He was a member of Phi Delta Kappa, and Theta Chi Fraternity.
Bill retired and proceeded to get another degree in Art History. This reignited his desire to paint; he went from watercolors to oil paintings and eventually became a member of the Monday Night Art Club.
Bill and Margie moved to Woodsong apartments, and eventually used all three facilities in WoodsEdge. Bill’s family would like to thank the staff at Trillium and the other facilities for their kindness, energy, and professionalism.
William passed away peacefully in the early morning hours of November 24, 2020. He was 98.
William is survived by his wife of nearly 73 years, Margie (Anderson) Forseth; his daughter, Catherine Forbes (Jeff), and son, Thomas Forseth (Terri Olson). He has four grandchildren: William K. Forbes (Meagan); Peter Jeffrey Forbes; John Thomas Forseth (Lindsey); and Michael Bruce Forseth. There are now two great grandsons: Joseph William Forbes, age 2, and Brooks Thomas Forseth, 4 months. Bill has 20 nieces and nephews and a brother-in-law, Dale Folger (Thief River Falls now in Texas), and sister-in- law, Eleanor Forseth (Mayville, ND now in Arizona.) Also, his sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Judith and Richard Hicks (Eugene, Oregon).
Bill was preceded in death by his son, William (Billy) Charles Forseth, age 5; his brother, Deed Forseth (Mayville); his sister, Shirley Lynch (Detroit Lakes); his brother-in-law, Don Lynch (Detroit Lakes); and his sister, Arleen Folger (Thief River Falls). On Margie’s side, Bill lost sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Shirley and Jack Granger (Solon Springs, WI);his brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Peter and Susie Anderson (Denver, CO); his sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Ione and Don DeKrey (Bemidji), and his parents, Ruth (Palm) and Richard Forseth. (Detroit Lakes, MN).
Memorials preferred to Bemidji State University Foundation or First Lutheran Church, Bemidji.