Aaron Wallace Forest, 48, passed away at Kootenai Medical Center on Sept. 10, 2022, with his loving, devoted wife, family and his best friend, since sixth grade, by his side. Aaron was born in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho, on Nov. 29, 1973. He was the youngest child of Jack and Jackie Forest. He loved being part of the Forest family. As a child and throughout his life, Aaron enjoyed the family ranch at Blue Creek Bay on Coeur d’Alene Lake, where he developed into an avid fisherman, scuba diver and outdoorsman. He loved anything to do with nature and adventure. He was so happy to go on a dream fishing expedition in Alaska for his honeymoon. While there he and his new bride experienced not only amazing fishing but eagle-watching and all the pristine beauty that Alaska has to offer. It was a trip of a lifetime for both of them.
Aaron also loved working for his brother, Grant, at Forest Steel. Grant fully trusted his bother to make critical decisions for the machine purchases and training methods to support the overall operational effectiveness of his company. Grant recognized and counted on his brother’s brilliant insights into the complex machinery that was the cornerstone of his business’ success. Although his day-to-day focus was on machine operations, Aaron was best known for his kindness and mentorship. Taking time to help his colleagues develop was not only a special talent but led to lifelong friendships within the industry.
Aaron was gifted with many creative abilities. He was a metal sculptor whose works appear on both private residences and public buildings. Music also played a significant role in his life. He was a talented drummer and loved playing his guitar. For the last fourteen years, Aaron’s wife, Sarah Jane Forest, has been his biggest fan and greatest love. They have split their time between their home in Dalton Gardens and the family lake place in Blue Creek Bay on Lake Coeur d’ Alene where Sarah could enjoy Aaron’s guitar playing fireside after they had spent the day fishing, spending time with family, and exploring the Wallace Forest Conservation Area. A conservation area established by his father Jack, and named after his grandfather Wally.
Aaron is survived by his wife, Sarah Jane, his parents, Jack & Jackie, his brother Grant and his fiancé, Emily, his sister Karen and brother-in-law Vince Blanchette, numerous nieces and nephews, and his closest friends, especially Bill Oswald who was a great comfort to Aaron when he needed it most. There are also several noteworthy medical professionals at Kootenai Medical Center who maximized the quality and length of Aaron’s life. Dr. Detar performed numerous surgeries that gave Aaron more time with family and friends. Dr. Detar and his team coordinated all of Aaron’s outpatient care and truly invested in his progress. Dr. Scoggins, Dr. Hoopman and numerous other doctors and nurses helped Aaron make the most of each day. Jan Armon, a palliative care social worker, followed Aaron on each step of his journey becoming a source of indispensable support and advocacy. Aaron was preceded in death by his grandparents, Wally & Jean Forest and Jack & Mabel McGinnis.
The family is holding a private memorial service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Companions Animal Center (formerly the Kootenai Humane Society) in Aaron’s memory. Aaron was a wonderful man who will be greatly missed.