Fern Watts Forshee was born in Little Rock, Arkansas. Because her father was a Seventh-day Adventist minister, the family lived in several different states while Fern was growing up, including New Mexico and Iowa.
Fern married Clayton Forshee in 1928 and the couple soon headed for mission service in Japan and the Philippines. When the United States entered World War II, Fern and Clayton returned home. Fern completed her nursing studies at Columbia Union College in 1943. She served as a nurse wherever there was a need, working at area hospitals including the Washington Sanatarium and Hospital, now Washington Adventist Hospital.
An extrovert, Fern loved being involved in many different activities. She was a member of several clubs, including a nurses’ club, a music club, a book club, and the women’s auxiliary.
Fern and Clayton and their son, Peter, lived in the Takoma Park area for many years. Fern is remembered as a person who “didn’t know a stranger” because she loved people and she loved to entertain. She was always opening her home and offering her hospitality to others.
But Fern’s generosity went beyond home-cooked meals. Fern and Clayton both believed strongly in Christian education. They made many sacrifices in their own lives so the lives of many young people could be enriched by a Christian education. The Fern Forshee Endowment is a testament of these services.