Wesley Lee Forbis

Born on October 31, 1930

Departed on January 14, 2011 and resided in Goodlettsville, TN

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Dr. Wesley Lee Forbis, 80, of Goodlettsville, Tennessee, passed away on January 14, 2011. He was born the third child to Noland and Chessie Forbis on October 31, 1930.
A native of Chickasha, Oklahoma, Dr. Forbis earned his B. Mus. Ed. and his M.A. degrees from Tulsa University, where he also played football. He earned the degree of M.M. from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and the Ph.D. degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1999, he was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from William Jewell College for his years of service there as well as his contributions to the fields of music education and church music.
In 1963 Dr. Forbis became a professor of music and chair of the music department at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri. In 1981 he became the director of the Church Music Ministries Department at the Southern Baptist Sunday School Board, now known as LifeWay. He served as editor of the 1991 Baptist Hymnal in which many of his hymn texts were committee-selected for inclusion. He was also one of three authors of a published book of poetry, Three Voices: Poetry in Worship.
After his retirement Dr. Forbis remained active in the fields of music education and church music, leading at conferences and workshops as well as producing several classical recordings.
Dr. Forbis is survived by his wife, Ginger Forbis, and three children, Lisa Forbis, Clifton Forbis, and Katrina Bates, along with five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He leaves behind one sister, Sharon Strain of Galveston, Texas, and two brothers, Gary Forbis of Tuttle, Oklahoma, and Keith Forbis of Hollywood, Florida. He was preceded in death by his sister, Imogene Forbis, and his brother, Donald L. Forbis.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Wesley L. and Ginger Forbis Scholarship Fund of William Jewell College, 500 College Hill, Liberty, Missouri 64068.

4 Comments to Wesley Lee Forbis

  1. Dan Lambert
    November 30, -0001 12:00 am

    Wes Forbis became part of my life during undergraduate days at William Jewell College and
    later as a colleague on the college staff. He was a
    remarkable man who never stopped teaching those
    around him; his departure in 1981 was deeply felt
    by the entire Jewell family and his wisdom, talent
    and humor remain an enduring legacy there. My thanks to Ginger and the family. God bless each of you.

  2. Phil Simcosky
    November 30, -0001 12:00 am

    Doc was the best. I will be forever grateful for him teaching me how to conduct a choir. But more importantly he taught us in concert choir how to live life in relationship to others.

    My prayers are with you.

    Phil Simcosky (73-75, William Jewell College)

  3. Keith Kay
    November 30, -0001 12:00 am

    He was a unique man with the talent to attain the best from his students and choirs. It was a privilege to work with him and for him for 3 years during college. I will always have the memories of the choir trips and Doc’s antics and wonderful caring personality.

    May God bless the family at this time of your loss.

  4. Carol Aubrey
    November 30, -0001 12:00 am

    My deepest sympathies to the entire Forbis family during this sad time. Doc will be missed by so many but nothing can compare to a family’s love for him.

    My best wishes to all of you as you memorialize him on Saturday. May the ones who love the Forbis family members embrace you all and give you great comfort and joy in his memory.

    Love, Carol Aubrey

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