Forrest David, Suycott, Jr., 94, of Verona, Wis., passed peacefully in his home, at approx. 8 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 13. Forrest “Sy”, was born on Nov. 2, 1922, in Granite City, Ill., as the only child to Edna Marie Klaus and Forrest David Suycott. He is survived by wife, Joan of Verona, Wis.; daughter, Diane Recob of Fitchburg, Wis.; son, David Suycott of Evanston, Ill.; granddaughter, Anna Recob; and grandsons, Lucas Suycott and Harry Gladney.
A graduate of Villa Grove High School, Villa Grove, Ill., earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Eastern Illinois University and a Doctorate in Music Composition from the University of Iowa. Military service included the Army Air Corp in World War II, as a navigator. Forrest’s, long life included enjoying a large extended family, countless friends, golf, the Saint Louis Baseball Cardinals, good food, a good beer and Wild Turkey Manhattans (with an olive). He spent much of his professional life dedicated to sharing his love of music, education and the promotion of the fine arts at the local, national and international levels. Beginning as a high school band teacher in Carmi, Ill., then joining Western Illinois University (WIU) as the Director of Bands in Macomb, Ill. He completed a sabbatical pioneering computerized music at Stanford University in Stanford, Calif. in ’67 to return to WIU and assume the post as acting Dean of the College of Fine Arts, as the college was being formed. He was then elected as the first Dean of the College of Fine Arts, where he remained until ’87 upon retirement. During his tenure as Dean, Forrest worked to expand access to music, art and theater, to students of all levels, including community members, by establishing collaborations with local, national and international arts organizations. Forrest established the first residency and performance series with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, formed the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Steel Pan band and hosted performers and artists from around the world. Upon retirement from WIU, Forrest went on to enjoy teaching Music Appreciation at Carl Sandberg College, Carthage, Ill. Forrest played trumpet in numerous local bands and conducted the Macomb Muni band for many years. While living at the Primrose Retirement Community in Decatur, Ill., he organized and gave a monthly music video presentation for residents that highlighted big band and various singers.
Forrest was dedicated to his family and friends, sharing his love of music throughout his entire life and was cherished by so many whose life he touched. He will be missed and his legacy will live on through all who crossed his path. Visitation will be held at FRICKE-CALVERT-SCHRADER FUNERAL HOME in Mount Pulaski, Ill., on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017, from 5-7 p.m. A Funeral Mass will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, at ST. THOMAS CATHOLIC CHURCH in Mount Pulaski, Ill., at 11 a.m. Burial will be held Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, with full military rites, at the National Cemetery in Danville, Ill. Please refer to Gundersonfh.com for time of graveside services. Memorials may be made to the Forrest D. Suycott, Jr. Scholarship Western Illinois University and the Fisher House Foundation at www.fisherhouse.org. Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com.
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