Agnes Syiek Shiepe Forsley
January 15, 2006
Kennebunk, Maine
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Agnes Syiek Shiepe Forsley, 81, went to be with Jesus on Jan. 15, 2006, at the home of her daughter, Candace. She resided in Kennebunk, Maine, for the past five years. Prior to that, she was a 45-year resident of Gray, Maine.

She was born on April 21, 1924 in Lawrence, Massachusetts, the daughter of the late Alexander and Mcarmy Batal Syiek. She graduated from Lawrence High School and the Burdette School of Business in Boston, Mass. She was widowed at a young age from Theodore Shiepe, with whom she had a son, Dustin, who passed away at 2 1/2 years of age, and two beloved stepchildren. Agnes later married Dr. Eli Forsley, with whom she shared a long, happy life and five lovely children.

Her compassion, care, and love of life were well noted by all. Agnes was a tireless volunteer for the American Red Cross, transporting patients from Lawrence to hospitals in Boston. She also served as a counselor for Birthrite, guiding hundreds of young women through their pregnancies.

In addition, Agnes was a driving instructor for a countless number of Gray's youth, thoroughly enjoying her time with each of them. Agnes began her professional career as a bookkeeper for Watts Regulator. Like her mother, she was a licensed electrologist, educating others in the practice and serving as the Secretary of State Board of Electrologists.

In 1956, she and Eli founded Gray Manor, a boarding home for disabled veterans, whom she cared for like family. Agnes shopped year round for the 32 men under her care at Gray Manor. She would work around the clock during Christmas wrapping all these gifts for the men. She would have new outfits for them along with several special gifts tailored to each man. Often times these men were forgotten by their families, but Agnes gave them back their dignity with jobs, love, and a sense of belonging to the community.

Agnes was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1971. In spite of the debilitating illness, she continued her active and giving lifestyle. She did not let the change in her step alter the pace of her life, and she strongly believed that her faith in the Lord gave her the strength to make it through each day.

Agnes always made it a priority to bring joy to the lives of others, whether through her gorgeous smile, loving heart, or lively spirit. Her generosity and care were available to everyone she met. She was grateful for all the love and support that she received from her day-to-day relationships.

We cannot express, on paper, the many ways in which her life touched ours. We love her dearly, with all of our hearts. With every letter she wrote to friends and family she would lovingly end with, May the Lord watch between me and thee while we are apart one from the other. Gen. 31:49. Along with, May the Lord bless you and keep you in front of me.

Agnes is survived by her children, Richard T. Forsley of Pensacola, Fla., Elizabeth A. Forsley of Portland, Alexander E. Forsley of Maine and Florida, Fred M. Forsley of Portland, Candace Forsley of Kennebunk, and Theodore Shiepe of Salem, N.H.; and eight grandchildren; a sister, Meralda Syiek McCann of San Diego, Calif.; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. She was also the sister of the late Rose Syiek Breehey.

Friends may call from 4-8 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 18 at Bibber Memorial Chapel, 67 Summer Street, Kennebunk. A celebration of Agnes' life will be held on Thursday at 10 a.m. at the Messiah Christian Church on Route 1, Wells, with the Rev. Daniel Moore.
Memorial contributions may be made to:

    Little People of America (LPA) - The Patriot Chapter
    7 Jameco Mill Road
    Scarborough, ME 04074
    Attn: Thanks and Giving


    St Jude Children's Research Hospital
    501 St. Jude Place
    Memphis, TN 38105

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