Beryl Forrester, 80, formerly of Woodville

LANCASTER, PA —  Beryl Forrester, 80, formerly of Woodville, passed away March 2, 2021, in Guinea, West Africa.

He was born Sept. 12, 1940, the son of the late Charles and Kathryn Jantzi Forrester.

Beryl graduated from Lancaster Mennonite School, Lancaster, PA, and Arizona State with a degree in English Literature and History. He also earned a degree in Library Science from the University of Colorado. Beryl worked as a librarian and owned and operated a fruit farm in Oregon.

Beryl served two years in Morocco in the Alternate Service Program, and he knew then that he wanted to return to Africa to do mission work. He sold the farm and returned to Africa in 1999 on a Mercy Ship as a mechanic worker, and being docked at The Gambia, he was invited to visit people and began a mission there, working with Eastern Mennonite Missions of Lancaster, PA. He built a church and guesthouse there, and many have given their lives to Jesus and dedicated themselves to the work of the church there.

Beryl was invited to Guinea Bissau, a country close to The Gambia, where he started another growing church. He helped with teaching gardening and fruit tree growing; encouraging the local people to care for the orchards and gardening, as a way of living.

Beryl built a small bungalow home in Senegal to serve as his home base; going from there on teaching missions. He was invited to Guinea, where he had been for about three weeks, when he became ill with dehydration, malaria, and a blood infection. He died peacefully, surrounded by friends. Beryl was buried in Guinea.

Beryl is survived by two daughters, Lois Gearhart and Sarah Forrester; and two grandsons in Salem, Oregon. Beryl was also survived by a brother, Dale Forrester, FL; two sisters, Anna Mae Weaver, PA and Martha Loveland, OH.

He was a member of Village Chapel in Voganville, PA.

A memorial service will be held at Groffdale Mennonite Church. Leola PA on March 28 at 3:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Eastern Mennonite Missions, 450 North Prince Street, Lancaster, PA 17603.

Local arrangements are with the Carpenter-Stoodley Funeral Home, Inc.

Online condolences may be made at