Dec. 24, 1927-Jan. 1, 2016
Linn Argyle “Bud” Forrest Jr., 88, died in his sleep on Jan. 1, 2016, 4:45 a.m., at South Peninsula Hospital in Homer, Alaska. His eldest son, Craig, was by his side.
Linn was born Dec. 24, 1927, in Bend, Ore., to Linn Argyle Forrest and Laura Emogene “Gene” Forrest. His father, Linn Forrest Sr., was one of the designers of Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood, Ore., and during part of the construction the family lived in a very small house near the lodge. The family moved to Juneau, Alaska, when Linn’s father was hired by the U.S. Forest Service in 1938 to catalog, study and draw with accurate dimensions all the Native dwellings, totems and art he could locate in Southeast Alaska. Frequently accompanying his father, Linn acquired an appreciation for the art and history of the Natives of Southeast-Alaska.
After graduating from Juneau High School, Linn spent a semester at the University of Oregon before going into active duty in the U.S. Army at Fort Richardson, Alaska, in April 1946, where he trained as a Combat MP. He was assigned as manager of the Post radio station, a post that he filled until just before being released from active duty in October 1947.
In July 1946, Linn married his high school sweetheart, Dorothea Marion Hendrickson. In the spring of 1947 Dorothea returned to Juneau to prepare for the birth of her and Linn’s first child. Somewhat later, when preparing to muster out of the Army and while helping clean out some warehouses, a case of davenports fell on Linn, breaking his back. It was an injury that plagued him for the rest of his life.
After leaving the Army, Linn attended the University of Oregon but left before graduating to join his father in an architectural business, Linn Forrest Architects, in Juneau. The first building Linn designed for the firm was the Chapel-by-the-Lake. Deciding Linn was too new to do the design properly, the church board asked Linn Sr. to redraw the plans. Linn Sr. often chuckled about how there was nothing wrong with the design, so he signed them as they were, resubmitted them and they were approved unchanged. At one time there were more than 129 schools designed by the father and son team in use across Alaska, from the most rural area imaginable to urban settings. They designed the school at Anaktuvuk Pass so all of the parts could be flown in by Grumman Goose, the only way the materials could be shipped to the area. The school is still being used.
During this period, the early- to mid-1950s through the mid-1960s, Linn perfected a method for building on permafrost, a major problem in Alaska. First he designed methods of freezing a building’s footings; then, with the help of others, he created “closed circuit” thermal-piles that made major construction projects such as the trans-Alaska pipeline possible. He gave the patent to the people, not the Territory nor the State of Alaska, so the technology could be used as cheaply as possible and without royalties having to be paid.
Following his and Dorothea’s divorce, Linn moved to Anchorage in 1964 and opened his own architectural firm, Linn A. Forrest Jr., Architect. He designed such buildings as the “L” Street Baptist Church in Anchorage and the original part of the Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna. He was also called upon to study the reasons for failure of several buildings in Anchorage during the 1964 earthquake. His efforts led to changes in architecture in earthquake-prone areas and in methods of building construction inspection. In 1967, Linn’s health forced him to close his architectural firm and he went to work for the Alaska State Housing Authority before being called to Juneau as deputy commissioner of the Alaska Department of Public Works in 1968.
Re-settling permanently in Juneau, Linn did a number of jobs for the State of Alaska and the City and Borough of Juneau. In late 1969, he married Faye Nell Gisel. Together they owned an apartment building and Faye Nell worked until Linn retired in 1982. The couple moved to a cabin on Colt Island near Juneau, living there until Faye Nelle’s death in February 2007. Linn then moved to Homer, Alaska, a town where the only building he designed was his son Craig’s house. He began spending winters with Craig and his family, returning to Juneau to spend summers with his son David and his family until poor health finally made that impossible in 2015.
Linn was preceded in death by Dorothea, Fay Nell, and daughter, Arleta, and his parents.
He is survived by his sons, Craig, Linn III (Sandy), Donald, David, Steven; and daughter Elaine. He had 13 grandchildren: Misti, Terra, Daniel, Gwen, Michael Ray, Lohali, Aleta, Veida, Lindsey, Tristan, Catherine, Matthew and Megan, plus 11 great-grandchildren. Faye Nell’s children also called him “Dad” and “Grampa”; they are Charles A. Gisel III, grandchildren Christy McClure, Brandy Gisel and Tamara Willard, plus eight great-grandchildren. Sherryl Anderson, Robert Gisel and grand-daughter Tracy Griffin preceded him in death. His brothers V.R. (Dick) Forrest, and Steve Forrest survive him.
Services were held at the Travelodge Hotel in Juneau, Alaska, at 5 p.m. Aug. 27, 2016. His ashes will be spread in Alaska per his wishes.