Forrest Lee Appleton, 73, went to be with the Lord Friday morning (Jan. 27, 2017) in Peoria.
Lee was born June 13, 1943, in Logansport, Ind., to Forrest Leo and Hanna Fultz Appleton, both preceding him in death. He was raised in Camden, Ind., along with his three brothers.
Upon graduation from Camden High School, Lee attended Purdue University for two years and played trumpet in the band before he enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1964 at the age of 20. A Vietnam veteran, 1965-1966, Lee reached the rank of staff sergeant while serving his country at Camp Pendleton, Calif., and Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., where he met his bride-to-be, Geraldine "Gerre" Higgins. He completed his service at the Pentagon for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, leaving active duty in 1971.
Lee and Gerre moved to Stanford, where he began working for State Farm in Bloomington, and raising three children, Forrest David, Theodore "Ted" Appleton and Laura Appleton Shuler. He also worked for Mitsubishi Motors and as a truck driver, a profession he enjoyed while in high school and college. Lee was also very active in his community as a Freemason since the age of 21 in the Scottish Rites, 32nd degree, belonged to the Bloomington Consistory, and the Minier Comet Lodge. He participated in the Passion Play at the Consistory, enjoyed woodworking and shooting, and was a historian and published author. Later in his life, Lee researched and published multiple articles and books on the railroad system in Indiana and historical articles pertaining to central Indiana, where he grew up. He also spent as much time as he could loving on and enjoying his grandchildren.
Loved and respected by all who met him, Lee Appleton was a man of honor, loyalty and integrity; believed in hard work; was a good friend of many; and a provider for his family.
He is survived by his loving wife of 50 years, Gerre; brothers, Dean, Brian and Bill Appleton; sons, Dave and Ted Appleton; daughter, Laura (Kevin) Shuler; and eight grandchildren, Amber Kasner; Alek, Kendra, Alyana and Talon Appleton; and Gavin, Carlee and Aubrey Shuler.
His celebration of life is being planned for June 13 at First Baptist Church in Camden, Ind., and he will be interred in a family plot at the Camden Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Shriner's Hospital for Children.