Charles J. Forster, 72, died Jan. 28, 2021.
He was born April 14, 1948, in Denver, to Charles J. Forster Sr. and Violet (McClure) Forster.
Friends and family said he always said the “business” life he was exposed to from his day of birth destined him to become a businessman in his adult life.
He grew up as an inner-city kid, developing independence at an early age. He traveled Denver and the surrounding areas for the price of a bus token and transfer ticket.
He graduated in 1966 from West High School in Denver.
Friends and family said he was always convinced that a chance meeting with a dean at the University of Denver led him down the college path and his final graduation with a bachelor of science in business from DU.
He attended morning classes and worked afternoons until graduation in 1970.
He met his wife Connie when they were in seventh grade, and years later took her to the senior prom.
The two became inseparable and were married June 21, 1969.
They welcomed their daughter into the family in 1975.
The family’s life changed in 1978 when Charlie accepted the position as president and CEO of Montrose State Bank in Montrose.
That opportunity and his success charted the course for the balance of his 50-year career in commercial banking and the pathway he and his family cherished as rural residents and active contributors to the mountain communities they loved.
In 1985, the family moved to Salida, and the Forsters enjoyed spending the past 36 years in Chaffee County.
Mr. Forster had an enduring commitment to health care and was inducted into the Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center’s Hall of Fame in 2016.
He served on the HRRMC Board of Directors and was president of the HRRMC Foundation for 16 years.
Among his many accomplishments was the transformation of the old Salida Steam Plant building into the event center it is today.
He served on the planning committee to expand the Chaffee County Fair from its former 4-H fair status to the expanded “New Old-Fashioned Chaffee County Fair” in 1988.
Mr. Forster also served on the El Pomar Board of Trustees and was a visionary for the Colorado Mountain College Foundation, the Collegiate Commons project in Buena Vista, and the Chaffee County Economic Development Corporation.
He enjoyed fly-fishing, float trips on the Arkansas River, hunting, water skiing and tinkering with old cars.
He loved watching his daughter grow up and was her tireless supporter as she competed in 4-H and horse shows.
He loved watching his grandsons at the Las Animas County Fair and was often on the sidelines during their football and basketball games.
Mr. Forster was preceded in death by his parents and his sister Annie Meininger.
Survivors include his wife; daughter Becky (Dan); grandsons Owen, Liam, and Collin; brother-in-law Don Meininger; nieces; and nephews.
There will be a celebration of life when gathering restrictions allow.
Charitable donations can be made to the Chaffee County Boys & Girls Clubs, the Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center Foundation, or a charity of the donor’s choice.
Arrangements are with Lewis and Glenn Funeral Home.
Online condolences may be offered at www.lewisandglenn.com.