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John “Jack” DeForest

John Duane DeForest, “Jack”, 79, died Feb. 20, 2009 in Greensboro, N.C., due to Alzheimer’s disease.

He was born Jan. 13, 1930, in Peabody, to John and Cleo DeForest. His youth was highlighted by the successful family business, DeForest Hatcheries, athletics, academics, and service in the Marine Corps.

His diverse education culminated with his Ph.D. in economics in 1961, followed by a life devoted to teaching and environmental conservation. In 1968, he settled in Mount Vernon, Va., (until 2008) and served as the first environmental economist for the Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C. Among his many environmental protection projects, he wrote more than 200 science book reviews, took thousands of nature photographs, and became a certified naturalist. 

His expertise in the Lewis and Clark Expedition and Sacajawea’s vital role in shaping American history, led him to spearhead the creation of the Sacajawea U.S. Dollar Coin in 1999.  

“Ye Ole Professor’s” greatest wish was for his children and five grandchildren to continue his efforts to protect and appreciate our planet earth. 

He is survived by his daughters, Debra DeForest Keefe of Wesley Chapel, Fla., Denise DeForest Pastoor of Greensboro, N.C., and Deanne DeForest Meyers of Lakeland, Fla., and his siblings, Charles DeForest of El Dorado, Richard DeForest of Wichita, Sally Attwater of Wichita, Jean Smith of Peabody, and Linda Long of Alta Vista.

His brain has been donated to Harvard Brain Tissue Research Center to study Alzheimer’s Disease. To honor our father, in lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to the Alzheimer’s Association, by mail to Alzheimer’s Association 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17  Chicago IL 60601-7633, or online http://www.alz.org/jointhecausedonate.asp. A private memorial service will be at a later date in Peabody.

Last modified Feb. 26, 2009

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