Phyllis Ann Forness, 91, of Colfax, North Dakota, passed away on Wednesday, May 10, 2023, at Sanford Hospice House in Fargo, ND. Her funeral will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, May 19, 2023, at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Colfax. There will be visitation one hour prior to the service. Burial to follow at Our Savior’s Lutheran Cemetery, Colfax. Pastor Jule’ Ballinger will officiate.
Phyllis Ann (Nelson) Forness was born to Franklin and Bertha (Fiske) Nelson in rural Mooreton, North Dakota on November 6, 1931. She attended elementary and high school in Colfax and graduated from Colfax High School in 1949.
Phyllis was united in marriage to Kenneth Gold in 1949. They were blessed with two sons, Terry and Mark. Kenneth passed away in 1953. Phyllis married Allan Forness in 1954 and he adopted Terry and Mark as his own. The couple was blessed further with the birth of Joel and the adoptions of Lisa and Paula. Phyllis was a homemaker who devoted her life to caring for her family. She had a wonderful gift of generous hospitality and loved spending time with her family and friends. The Forness family farm was host to numerous family milestone events such as reunions, groom’s dinners, anniversaries and birthdays.
Phyllis was active in various capacities in her church, the Auxiliary of the Gideons International, Women’s Aglow International, and as a lay leader in the ELCA having completed and participated in the G.I.F.T.S. program. In their later retirement years Allan and Phyllis spent the winter months in Texas. Each year they went they brought quilts, stuffed animals, dolls, shoes and other items which they donated to the “Sharing Jesus Ministry''. On a weekly basis they accompanied this ministry organization into Mexico to distribute these and other items to children and adults while sharing the message of the Gospel.
Phyllis is survived by her children Mark (Susan) Forness, Joel (Rebecca) Forness, Lisa (Randy) Monson and Paula Hoyt; daughter-in-law Andrea Forness; grandchildren Tricia (David) Johnson, Rachel Bruflat, Kristi (Eric) Swenson, Jeffrey (Jennifer) Forness, Seth (Brittany) Forness, Emily (Samuel) Nash, Stefanie Forness, Austin (Michelle) Monson, Jasmine (Nick) Paczkowski; 21 great-grandchildren and 3 great-great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law Gladys Nelson, Helen Gold and Carol Nelson.
Phyllis was preceded in death by her husband, Kenneth Gold, husband, Allan Forness; son, Terry Forness; siblings, LeVoine Nelson, Kathleen (Rueben) Jacobson and Arland Nelson; sister-law Diane Nelson.
Phyllis will always be remembered as a loving mother, grandmother and friend whose presence brought so much joy to those around her. Her strong spirit, kind soul, unwavering faith and fervent intercessory prayer will never be forgotten.
Memorials are preferred to:
New Life Center - New Life Center (fargonlc.org)
Salvation Army - Fargo-Moorhead Salvation Army
Great Plains Food Bank - see link below
Gideons International - see link below