PERU — Roger F. Forrence, 95, formerly of Peru, died Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013, at Pine Harbour Assisted Living in Plattsburgh.
Roger was born in Peru, Sept. 5, 1918, the son of Virgil H. Sr. and Helen (Rogers) Forrence. He graduated from Keeseville High School, followed by a two year agricultural degree from Cornell University.
The "Poor Dirt Farmer" began his farming career with a job auctioneering eggs in the Hudson Valley. Soon after, Roger's father encouraged him to return to Peru to help establish Forrence Orchards where Roger served as President for many years. Throughout his career in the apple industry, Roger was active in many fruit organizations including the New York State Horticultural Society and the New York State Marketing Order.
Roger was a long-time member of the Peru Community Church, Au Sable River Lodge #149 Masons, the Plattsburgh Elks Club and the Plattsburgh Rotary. Blessed with a strong commitment to public service he served as: President of the CVPH Medical Center Board of Directors, President of the Peru School Board, Vice Chairman of the Plattsburgh Air Force Base Liaison Committee, Plattsburgh College Foundation board member, serving as Chairman of the Foundation's Investment Committee and was a Trustee of the Miner Institute and Paul Smith's College.
Roger is survived by his children, Carolyn Gonyea of Pawley's Island, S.C., Mason Forrence and wife Joan of Peru and their children Seth (Leslie), Erica, and Katherine, Diane and her husband Edward Grant of Charlotte, N.C. and their children Jeffrey (Emily) Grant and Suzanne (Jared) Olshefski, and Virgil E. "Mac" Forrence of Peru and his children McIntosh and Jonathan. Roger is also survived by great-grandchildren Lily and Ella Forrence, Rory Grant, and Noah, Hudson, Wyatt, and Jackson Olshefski. Roger is survived by one brother, William H. Forrence and wife Marjorie of Peru; and two sisters, Jean Pritchard of Newburgh, N.Y., and Rosalind Carpenter of Grayslake, Ill.; and several nieces and nephews.
Roger was predeceased by his parents; two wives, Carolyn Mason and Angela Bryant; and his brother, Virgil H. Forrence Jr.
The Jamaican apple pickers will conduct a private prayer service on Wednesday evening, Sept. 18, at the Forrence Orchards Commissary. A funeral service will be held at 3 p.m., Friday, Sept. 20, at the Peru Community Church. Burial will be in the Peru Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to: Peru Community Church, Pine Harbour Inc., or the Foundation of CVPH Medical Center.
Arrangements are in the care of the Hamilton Funeral Home, 294 Mannix Road, Peru. To light an online candle and offer condolences in the memory of Roger Forrence, please visit www.hamiltonfuneralhome.com. 643-9055