Cover photo for Shelby Jean (Webb) Forkey's Obituary
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1937 Shelby 2022

Shelby Jean (Webb) Forkey

September 28, 1937 — October 7, 2022

Shelby Jean Forkey 85, of Westminster passed away comfortably at her home on October 7th after suffering a stroke in August. Shelby was born September 28th, 1937 in Wilson, North Carolina to William Wright Webb and Emma Suzanna (Everette) Webb both of North Carolina. She was the wife of Richard E. Forkey whom she so sadly lost on February 1st 2019. She is survived by her children: Curtis R. Womble and his fiance Melissa Murphy of Lunenburg, C. Renee Womble and her husband John Hargraves of Westminster, David Womble and his partner Sarah Robertson-Peaslee of Westminster, Joseph Forkey and his wife Heather of Princeton and AnnMarie Koivu (Forkey) and her husband Rick of Townsend; grandchildren: Dillon Womble, Shania Womble, Sidney Tarbell, Tyler Truax, Katie (Forkey) and husband Martin Maloney, Tim Forkey, Dan Forkey, Jon Forkey and Meg Forkey; 5 great grandchildren. She is also survived by her beloved sister Faye Leach and husband Brigadier General Dennis Leach of Brainerd, Minnesota, a special niece Anna Sumerlin of Wake Forest, NC, two special sisters-in-law Alexandria Forkey of South Hadley and Deborah (Womble) Johnson and her husband John of Elm City, NC and many beloved nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by beloved siblings; Nancy (Webb) Owens of North Carolina, W. Thomas Webb of Georgia, Randolph Webb of Washington State, James Webb of South Carolina, Jasper Webb and sister Mary (Webb) Ellis also of North Carolina.

Shelby, lovingly called ‘Sug’ (short for sugar) by family and friends came from hardscrabble beginnings in North Carolina where her parents were tenant farmers. She did all house chores as basically a child while other family members worked the fields. She married at only age 17 to David Womble in North Carolina. She slowly made her way north with her new family living for quite a few years in Fredrick, Maryland, then the Chelmsford and Westford areas, Lunenburg and then remarried and settled in Westminster with her husband Richard Forkey. She was a resident of Westminster for the past 47 years.

She initially worked for the North Carolina Highway Department and was an assistant for an ophthalmologist in Maryland. Upon settling in Westminster, she was a home health aide for Montachusett Home Health Services and a Westminster news correspondent for The Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise newspaper. All the while being a wonderful homemaker, mother and wife. She worked many years alongside her husband Richard Forkey where he began the company Precision Optics Corporation out of their home. Besides being the Accountant, Personnel Manager and Administrative Assistant within the company, she was known to switch hats and make breakfast for the employees after they worked into the wee hours of the morning when the company first launched. As the company grew, she enjoyed planning lavish company Christmas parties for the employees at area venues. She then became owner and operator of The Curiosity Shop Antiques & Gifts for many years on Main St., Westminster. She had also been a prior member of the Westminster Historical Society for many years and she was a member of the Messiah Lutheran Church in Fitchburg.

Shelby loved antiques, gardening, cooking and traveling with her husband Richard where they traveled to Israel, China, Hong Kong, and many countries all throughout Europe. Her & her husband enjoyed many summer days also at their camp, Camp Pineshore on Wyman’s Pond in Westminster.

Shelby will forever be sorely and dearly missed by her family & friends.

The family would like to give special thanks to her wonderful & dear caregivers over the past few years. She wouldn’t have been able to stay in her home if it wasn’t for your care, love & support for her. We are deeply appreciative for each and every one of you and all you have done not only for her but for the family!

Calling hours are Thursday, October 13th 4-6 pm at the Brandon Funeral Home, 305 Wanoosnoc Rd., Fitchburg. Interment at Woodside Cemetery will be private on Friday. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to: Messiah Lutheran Church 750 Rindge Rd.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Shelby Jean (Webb) Forkey, please visit our flower store.


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