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Robert Ramsaur Forney

SHELBY — Mr. Robert Ramsaur Forney, 91, of 210 Fairway Drive, died Thursday, August 15, 2002.

A native of Burke County, he was born Sept. 18, 1912, and reared in Cleveland County. He graduated from Piedmont High School, Boiling Springs Jr. College and Wake Forest University. He has been a member of First Baptist Church for 50 years where he served as deacon, chairman of the Finance Committee and was an active member of the Paul Wilson Bible Class. His tour of duty in World War II was in Europe where he served in the Signal Corps.

He began his business career with Lily Mills Company, which became Belding Lilly after a merger with Belding Hemingway in New York. From 1966 until his retirement in 1978, he was President and C.E.O. of Belding Lily and served on the American Threat Institute, a member of the New Comer Society of North America. He was on the Board of Trustees at Wake Forest University in the 1970’s. He was always interested in civic and community activities. He was an active member of the Shelby Rotary Club serving as President in 1995-56. He served on the Board of Trustees of Cleveland Memorial Hospital. He helped with the organization of the Cleveland County Boys Club. A member of the Board of Advisors at Gardner-Webb University, a Director of the Foundation of the Carolina’s Board. He served on the Board of Directors of First National Bank for 25 years. 

He is preceded in death by his parents, Charles D. and Frances Ramsaur Forney; two brothers, Charles Forney Jr. and Tom Forney and two sisters, Minnie Anna Forney and Mamie Lou Bridges.

He is survived by his wife, Jessie Irvin Forney; three sisters-in-law, Martha Lane Forney, Alise Irvin and five nieces, 13 nephews and their families.

Interment will be Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at Sunset Cemetery followed by a memorial service at 3:00 p.m. at the First Baptist Church. Visitation will be after the service in the church vestibule.

Clay-Barnette Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.