FORSYTHE—Robert Michael Forsythe passed away February 8, 2022, in Springfield, Ore.
He was born Sept. 18, 1949, in Oak Harbor, Wash., to James and Kathryn Forsythe. Bob had one brother, Jim Forsythe, who preceded him in death.
Growing up in a military family, Bob lived in many different cities on both coasts until his father retired from the Navy in 1963. Bob was 14 at the time, and the family settled in Riverside, Calif. Bob was a good athlete who excelled in football and wrestling. From an early age he had a love of automobiles, a passion he got from his dad.
Upon high school graduation in 1967, Bob joined the Army. He served in Vietnam on the Mekong Delta as a combat engineer, building roads throughout the area. He saw combat multiple times and was wounded in battle. He finished out his military service in Bamberg, Germany. As motor pool sergeant, Bob became the ultimate “accidental tourist,” delivering vehicles and equipment all over western Europe.
Following his military service, Bob held positions in manufacturing and service industries as production manager or director of purchasing. In 1990, Bob was hired as the purchasing supervisor for the University of California San Diego. He managed contracts and acquisitions for all university facilities. He developed a staff training curriculum for business negotiations that was implemented throughout the UC system.
Over the years, he worked on every UC campus but one, ending his career at UC Santa Cruz as the Director of Business and Finance. Bob streamlined procedures at every campus, and the changes he implemented are conservatively estimated to have saved tens of millions of dollars.
His retirement saw him moving to Florence in 2009, where he quickly became involved in the community. Bob joined the Shelter Cove HOA board and several committees for the City of Florence. He joined the board of the Boys and Girls Club, where his experience in management helped successfully steer the organization through a fiscal crisis. He took the position of Port Manager for the Port of Siuslaw from 2012 to 2015, and he was elected to the Dunes City Council in 2016. He was appointed mayor of Dunes City in August 2017, a position he held until his death.
Dunes City Recorder Jamie Mills stated, “Working with Mayor Forsythe was a pleasure. He wasn’t afraid to kid around and make jokes, and that was great, but he could also bring everything into focus. Some people call it logic. Others call it common sense. Whatever you call it, it kept all of us on track. I will miss that.”
In addition to these community responsibilities, Bob moved his mother to Florence to care for her in her final years. In his spare time, he learned all he could about the stock market and became a proficient investor.
Bob married Cindy on July 4, 2015. They built their home on Siltcoos Lake and enjoyed working on their property and entertaining friends. They thoroughly enjoyed travelling together, making four major road trips around the U.S. in the last six years.
A most special activity for Bob in the past five years had been coaching the Siuslaw High School wrestling team and the family has chosen the SHS Mat Club for donations in Bob’s memory.
Along with his wife Cindy and her children, Bob leaves behind two sons, Robert II and Michael and a daughter Kandyce. His daughter Candi preceded him in death in 2019. Bob has eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.