Dr. Bruce Forster

Obituary of Dr. Bruce Alexander Forster

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Dr. Bruce Alexander Forster

September 23, 1948 – March 19, 2024


Bruce Forster passed away peacefully on March 19th, 2024, with his family at his side, at McKenney Creek Hospice in Maple Ridge, BC, Canada from a culmination of long-term medical conditions. Bruce is survived by his three children, Kelli Forster (Trevor Spaidal), Jeremy Forster (Hilary) and Jessica Forster Broomfield (Jon); his grandchildren, Mataya, Parker, Alex, Kariana, Ella and Kobe Jordan; his two brothers Glen and John (Monique); and mother-in-law Frances Pendock.  He is predeceased by his previous wives Dale and Jane; and granddaughter Summer.

While he was serious about his career in academics, he was known to all those who met him as a charismatic, funny, sociable person who loved to travel and enjoy life. He enjoyed being places where he could get to talk with new people and share a laugh. He took great pride in travelling extensively and trying to learn a little of the local language wherever he went. He grew up in Beachville and the surrounding areas of Ontario with his parents Anna Mae Murray and Bruce Forster. He loved helping out with his family’s ponies and dreamed of being a cowboy. In high school, in Woodstock he enjoyed playing football and hockey and met his future first wife, Jane. He loved to tell the story of how he never finished high school because he left grade 13 early to start at the University of Guelph a semester early. He married Jane Mackay not long after and then graduated with his bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Economics in 1970. He went onto complete his PhD at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia, which was a great 3-year adventure for Bruce and Jane.

After completing his PhD, he returned to the University of Guelph to teach economics. Bruce also became heavily involved in researching acid rain and that work eventually culminated in his first book: The Acid Rain Debate. Bruce and Jane welcomed their daughter Kelli in 1975. Bruce and Jane later divorced, and Bruce met Dale Pendock in scuba diving lessons and subsequently they married 1979 in Laramie, Wyoming, where they were on sabbatical. Bruce and Dale shared a love of adventure, academics and time in the sun and water. They welcomed their son Jeremy into the world in 1982 and their daughter Jessica in 1985. Bruce loved his sabbaticals in Wyoming and the potential to live out his cowboy dreams so in 1987 the family moved to Laramie, Wyoming where Bruce would continue to teach Economics at the University of Wyoming and eventually become Dean of the College of Business. Although this was not exactly being a cowboy, he did also get two horses, wear a big belt buckle and greet everyone with “howdy”. While in the Dean’s office, Bruce served on the accreditation committee for business schools and enjoyed the travel that came with both roles. He had the opportunity to go to Russia, India and teach a 3-week course on International Business for 13 consecutive years in Taiwan. He enjoyed learning and then teaching his children to downhill ski and having many ski holidays in the local Wyoming and Colorado mountains. He also loved sunny vacations especially to Mexico and Hawaii, eventually buying an annual timeshare in Puerto Vallarta. After many years in Wyoming, Bruce, Dale and Jessica moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 2000 (while Jeremy attended UW) where Bruce was Dean of the School of Management at Arizona State University for 5 years. Sadly, Dale passed away in 2003, which was a tragic loss for the family.

In 2005, with Jessica off at university in Tuscon, Bruce moved to Kearney, Nebraska to again be Dean of the College of Business. He continued to enjoy extensive travel including China, Europe, Dominican Republic, Hawaii, and regular trips to Mexico. He shared this love of travel with his children who joined him on many of his travels. He started to have more health complications and retired at 60. He was very proud to have been named Lifetime Achiever by Marquis Who’s Who in the World for his work and being professor emeritus for the University of Nebraska and Arizona State University. Even after retirement he continued researching, writing, and delivering talks at conferences. He also collaborated on papers and eventually the book: The Struggle for Human and Economic Development in Sub-Saharan Africa with his daughter, Jessica in 2012.

He moved out to Blaine, Washington in 2013 to be closer to his daughters and grandchildren. He continued to enjoy frequent travel and some cross-country trips in his RV. In each of the towns he lived, he loved to frequent the same restaurants and bars and get to know the servers, regulars, and newcomers. He was always greeted warmly wherever he went. He will be greatly missed by his family and by all those that had the opportunity to work with him, learn from his lectures or share a beer with him.

In loving memory of Bruce Forster, we ask that instead of flowers, please consider making a contributing to the following gofundmePage: Bruce Forster His children will be building a bursary to support young Economics students in their pursuit of higher education at the University of Wyoming. We will be holding a Celebration of Life in Ontario at a future date in 2024.


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