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GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: Melissa Clark-Forrester with a photo of her late husband James Forrester. Picture: Anthony Stipo
THE family of a Riverinaman who died when he was struck by a falling treehave moved to clear up the circumstancessurrounding his death.
There wasabout three inches of rain on the ground whenJames Forrester, age 66,was out cutting wood with a chainsaw on private propertyat Uri Park for the family home.
Tragically, as he walked back past his ute,a tree near where he was working fell on him.He died instantly.
It’s believed the vibrations ofJames cutting the wood was what caused the tree to fall.
Hisfamilydescribed himas someone who was always up for a laugh.
He wasnever too proud to help out a mate.
“He’s always been a prankster,” sister-in-law Tanya Clark said.
“Yesterday (the 18th) it was his birthday and we had a bit of a thing, I was just sitting in my chair and next thing I know the chair flies up as if he’s pulled a lever on the side, and I thought ‘you cheeky bastard’.
“He’d do anything for anyone.
“Even if they dida bad turn to him he’d still try and help somebody.”
For 29 years he was a manager at Baiada.
He retired three years ago, but he liked to keep himselfbusy.
He worked at Griffith Central and at the Kidman Wayside Inn –the same place his wife Melissa Clark-Forrester worked -as a gardener.
“He was supposed to retire, but he would never do that,” Ms Clark said.
“That was too easy.”
She said the months afterwards had been incredibly hard on everyoneand noted it had been a struggle to move forward.
James spent time in the Army as a cookand marched out atPuckapunyal.
He taught mod-ball and tee-ball in Griffith and didn’t mind a goodten pin bowl every now and then.
He loved to take his boys out fishing, loved car racing –he used to race at the Blue Dot Speedway in Griffith –but most of all he loved his family.
James had eight children and 13 grandchildren.
His wife Melissa said his friends still feltthe effects of the incident.
“They’re just numb, they’re lost, they can’t believe the whole situation,” she said.
He was a doting grandfather to Mason, who was born just three weeks prior to the accident that took James’life.
Melissathanked a number of people who have helped her get through this tough time.
“Iwant to thank our family who have been so supportive,” she said.
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