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Memorial Service

Suffolk Christian Church
Saturday April 16th, 2022

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Forrest Hugh Cathey

Forrest Hugh Cathey, 96, passed away at his home in Suffolk, Virginia, surrounded by family on January 3, 2022. Forrest was the son of Audrey Cocks Cathey and Lewis Henry Cathey. He was born in Suffolk on June 11, 1925.

Forrest was a graduate of Suffolk High School, then served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, before attending college. He received his B.S. Degree in Business Administration in 1950 from VPI. He retired from the family business as Vice-President of the Norfolk Coca-Cola Bottling Works and Manager of the Suffolk and Portsmouth Coca-Cola plants after thirty years of service.

He is survived by his devoted wife, Mary Jane Brooks, who was the love of his life since meeting as students at VPI and Radford College. He is survived by his three daughters: Patricia Cathey Linville (Craig), Donna Cathey Henderson (Charlie), and Barbara Cathey Hannah (Billy). Five grandchildren: Heather Koonts, Charles Henderson, III (Jaime), Dr. Adam Henderson (Dr. Kate), Forrest Hannah and Caitlyn Hannah. Four great grandchildren: Andrew Koonts, William Koonts, Brooks Henderson and Emma Henderson. He was predeceased in death by his brother, Lewis Owen Cathey and sister, Lola Mary Setzer.

Forrest was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. His church and his family always came first. He was an extremely positive, kind and compassionate gentleman. He found joy in everyday and loved to share a joke. He was a member of Suffolk Christian Church, where he served as a Deacon, member of the Board of Finance as well as the House of Worship Committee.

He was civic minded and active in many community activities. Forrest served as president of the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, Suffolk Rotary Club, and the Suffolk-Nansemond IWLA. He was a member of the Suffolk Retail Merchants Association, where he was named Retailer of the Year in 1971. He served on the STOP, Inc. and was a past chairman of the Salvation Army Advisory Board. He served other associations such as the Cancer Society, Heart Fund, and the Red Cross. He also served on the following boards: Elizabeth City Coca-Cola, Virginia State Council of Coca-Cola Bottlers, Cancer Society, and United Fund. He was a past member of the Suffolk Historical Society, Suffolk Art League and a charter member of the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 16, 2022 at 2 PM at Suffolk Christian Church, 216 N. Main St. Suffolk, VA 23434. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Suffolk Christian Church or a charity of your choice.

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Forrest Cathey, please visit our flower store.


A candle was lit in memory of Forrest Cathey

Dianne Paul-Golden Apr 16 2022 1:30 PM

Patricia,very sorry to hear of your loss. You and your family are in our prayers.

Steve Earley Mar 13 2022 10:54 PM

Dear Cathy Family,
on behalf of the City of Suffolk Treasurer's Office, I want to extend to you our sincerest sympathy on the loss of Forrest. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all during this difficult time. May God provide you with peace and comfort at this time.
Ronald H. Williams, City Treasurer and Staff

Ronald H. Williams Mar 11 2022 12:07 PM

We celebrate the long and full life of your dad. He was a kind and gentle person whom we respected and admired. Every Christmas he brought a case of Coca-Cola and left it on the back porch like one of Santa's elves. We will cherish his memory.

Betsy, Kathy, G.S. Hobbs Jan 12 2022 2:51 PM

Thank you Chuck for your kind words and memories. Dad seemed to leave a trail of joy with all those he came in contact with.

Tricia Cathey Linville Jan 10 2022 1:45 PM

Forrest was a bigger-than-life adult figure to me in my youth. He seemed always present throughout the year. Whether playing in the neighborhood or at his house, all around him was a spirit of benevolence. At Christmas he would bring my family a case of Coke and our two families would spend time together on other occasions. Some of my most vivid and treasured memories involved him. One was a Coca-Cola bottle cap contest, the first such contest I experienced growing up. The underside of each cap was stamped with some historical icon such as the White House. If you collected the whole set you could win a golden Coca-Cola key chain or a very nice Coca-Cola pen. My friends and I would drink Coke every chance we got and ride our bikes to gas stations begging the owners to let us have the empty caps opened and discarded in the machines. It was a magical time and was one of the joyful things about youth. I remember once taking our bottle cap collection directly to him to trade for our winnings and he seemed as excited as us. My sisters would play with Donna who was their age and I would play with Patricia who was my age. It was another time long passed but the memories are fresh as yesterday. I am very thankful Forrest with his kind family was there to be a part of our lives and he will remain forever in our hearts.

Chuck March Jan 9 2022 9:06 PM

On behalf of The Chapman Family- My condolences to the entire Cathey Family on your loss. I pray that your memories with him bring you so much joy and happiness in the days to come. You are all in my prayers.

Mary Beth Chapman Carden Jan 9 2022 12:41 PM

So sorry to hear of your loss! My Dad knew your Dad & I was in school with Donna. My deepest condolences, Bonnie Ballard Deardorff

Bonnie Deardorff Jan 8 2022 6:16 PM

Forest and Mary Jane and family were just like family to me. Tricia was my forever best friend. I am sad to hear of his passing.

Cathy Smith Jan 7 2022 4:56 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Forrest Cathey

Cathy Smith Jan 7 2022 4:51 PM

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