Just months after the death of his long-time friend, Andy Griffith’s best friend and most ardent supporter has died.
Emmett Forrest died during the early morning hours Saturday at the Joan and Howard Woltz Hospice Home in Dobson.
He was 85.
Forrest had been moved to the home just days ago after suffering an extended illness.
For much of his life, Forrest devoted his time to preserving the memory of Griffith, donating many of the items on display today in the Andy Griffith Museum.
Tanya Jones, director of the Surry Arts Council and a long-time friend of Forrest, said she, like many in the community, was shaken by the news.
“We’re just stunned,” she said. “Emmett was absolutely wonderful. He was my best and most trusted friend, but more than that he was someone I totally trusted.”
Jones said she has worked with Forrest for more than 25 years.
“I worked so closely with him to help him achieve his dream of having an Andy Griffith Museum and preserving his legacy,” she said. “Most of the items in the museum were collected by Emmett. It was his collection that was the seed for the pursuit of a permanent museum.
“He’s also meant an enormous amount to the Surry Arts Council and local economic development efforts through his work to bring tourists to the area,” Jones added.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday Jan. 15, at 2 p.m., at Grace Moravian Church with Rev. Tony Hayworth officiating.
The Forrest family will receive friends at the Moody Funeral Home of Mount Airy on Monday night from 6 until 8 p.m.
Reach Keith Strange at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1929.