Deceased November 14, 2012
Hal Forsyth was like a brother to me. His mother and mine went to the University of Montana together and then taught high school home economics in Anaconda, Mont. His father and mine worked for the Anaconda Copper Co. there after they returned from service in the army during World War I. Needless to say, both couples got married and then both went to Portrerillos, Chile, to open a new copper mine. My family returned to the states in 1931, while they remained in Chile. When World War II started, the Forsyths were unable to travel, thus while Hal attended Exeter and then served in the army, my home became his.
Coming out of the army, Hal had a choice of joining his brother Bob at Harvard or me at Amherst. The choice was obvious. At Amherst he joined Alpha Delt, played football and was much appreciated for his jolly good nature. His real interest was forestry, so Hal transferred to Montana State University, receiving a B.S. in forestry, then went to Duke for his master’s.
After a short career with the USDA and Carter Oil Co., he became administrative assistant to Montana Congressman James Battin, whom he helped get elected by flying him all over that large state. Hal obtained his pilot license while at Amherst and scared me half to death on flights down the Connecticut Valley that included threats to fly under the Holyoke bridge. (He never really did attempt it.) The years in Washington gave him contacts in the energy industry, and he spent the rest of his business career in contract land management with Exxon and others.
Hal Forsyth died peacefully in his sleep Nov. 14 after a short nursing home stay. He is survived by his wife, Edna; a brother, Robert; and an extended family. Please see the obituary on the Amherst alumni website.
Sid Barteau ’49