Kent Mitchell Forbush

Nov. 11, 1958-Oct. 23, 2022

Kent Mitchell Forbush was born in Salt Lake City on Nov. 11, 1958, to Mitchell LeRoy and Beth Caldwell Forbush.

He was raised by loving parents in Midvale, Utah, and graduated from Hillcrest High School in 1977. Shortly thereafter, he became a volunteer firefighter for the Midvale Fire Department, where he made lifelong friends as a dedicated public servant. He also began a career at the telephone utility, where he would work for 32 years to support his family. Kent retired as a telecommunications technician in 2010.

He was married on Sept. 15, 1978, to Debbie Bingham, in the Salt Lake Temple. After 44 years, through good and challenging times, their marriage still endures.

Kent was an avid outdoorsman, hunter and fisherman. He helped found the Southern Utah Pointing Dog Club, which brought hundreds together to train and celebrate hunting dogs. He loved German Wirehaired Pointers, fishing in Alaska with his friend Robert and camping with his children and grandchildren.

He was a talented man with many hobbies who could make anything and fix everything. He especially enjoyed leatherwork and became a master at the craft. The high-quality dog leads and collars, horse tack, wallets, belts, holsters and utility bags he created are valued possessions for those of us fortunate to have them. He also loved cooking and made the best brisket and ribs. When Kent cooked, there was room at the table for everyone.

Kent lived a life of service. He constantly sought opportunities to make the world a better place in his local community and abroad. He volunteered at his church, mentored young men in Scouting and freely gave his time and tools to help fellow craftsmen. One of his longest-standing callings for the church was as a photographer for special needs mutual, where he had a great time with close friends. He was recognizable at the local shooting range, where he volunteered weekly, by his warm smile and unusual kilt. Abroad, he served for two months on the Mercy Navy hospital ship in Cambodia and Vietnam. He also participated in humanitarian aid trips to Uganda, Kenya and Peru.

Family and friends were paramount to Kent and always on his mind. He treasured his time with his friend Kit, who was diagnosed with ALS, and Matt, for whom he created a leather brace that improved his quality of life in recent years. It was impossible not to feel seen and appreciated while spending time with Kent. He always found ways to be genuinely helpful.

Kent traveled the world, visiting dozens of nations on nearly every continent. He had a unique ability to connect with people despite language barriers. Kent attracted friends wherever he went and was the glue that brought people together in unorthodox ways. He collected memories through unusual and meaningful souvenirs, which he sought out anytime he traveled. His collection includes handmade soccer balls from Africa, a well-used shoe shine kit from Peru, a bespoke tailored suit from Cambodia, and handmade shoes from all over the world. Among the places he visited, Spain, Italy and Alaska were the most significant to him.

In 2019, Kent completed the French route of the Camino de Santiago, walking over 466 miles from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. The experience was moving for Kent and a significant event in his life. After returning home, he often spoke of the spiritual experiences that occurred on the Camino. He enjoyed traveling by foot because it allowed time to converse with fellow pilgrims. He was known to connect with people along the way and ask, “So, what’s your story?” before spending hours listening and learning about their lives as they walked. On Oct. 23, 2022, while walking the Camino de Santiago for a second time with the love of his life, Kent suffered a heart attack in his sleep.

Kent is survived by his wife Debbie, children Jen (Scott) DuVall, Ryan (Amy) Forbush and Tyler Forbush; grandchildren Kai, Rachel, Lyla, Emily, Peter, Claire and Asher; brother Norman (Daria) Forbush and sister Renee (Steve) Francine Leavitt and his faithful companion, Chewy.

He was preceded in death by his mother Beth, father,Mitchell, sister Judy Shelton and grandson Benjamin Raj DuVall.

The funeral service will be Friday, Nov. 18, at 11 a.m., with visiting from 9-11 a.m. at the Boulder Ridge Stake House, 1762 South River Rd, St. George. Click here to access the service online.

A gathering of family and friends will be held Saturday, Nov. 19, from 6-8 p.m. in Salt Lake City at 7645 South 3200 West. Bring your favorite Kent story to share.
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