DEACON HARTLEY T. FORDE, affectionately known as “Slyvan”, “Pop” or “Papa”,
93, went home to be with the Lord on June 19th, 2020. Deacon Forde was the first-born son
to Valeria & Allan Forde Sr. in Barbados, West Indies.
Deacon Forde attended school at the St. David Boys School in Barbados. He moved
to the United States at the age of 19, where he worked on farms in various states and traveled
to other countries to do farm work.
Deacon Forde made his home in Danville, IL where he married Bessie Suggs; she
preceded him in death. He later married Elder Annie Rivers-Forde and she also preceded him
in death. He worked for ESCO Corporation as a welder and retired. He then returned to work
at the Vermilion County Courthouse in the Maintenance Department for many years and then
retired for the second time. Deacon Forde was very active in church serving as a Deacon for
many years. He last served as a Deacon at Philadelphia Baptist Church until his sickness took
Deacon Forde became a member of the Odd Fellows Society and later became a
Mason. He was a Lifetime Member of Corinthian Lodge #31 F&AM Prince Hall Affiliation for
more than 50 years. He served in the position of Tyler for more than 30 years until his health
started failing. He was also a 32nd Degree Mason, member of Menelik Consistory No. 49 of
the Valley of Springfield.
Deacon Forde never had a bad day or complained. He was a very loving, caring, family
man. He also was a very outgoing person and loved to meet anybody and everybody. He
loved going to church, reading the bible, cooking and he had the best tea as his family says,
“on this side of heaven”. He also loved gardening, travelling, telling life stories and sharing
wisdom with everyone he met. Deacon Forde was a very humble man.
He leaves to cherish his memory, his children: Gretchen (Earl), Greg (Anna), Michael,
Pastor Cassandra and Dexter. One Sister: Idora Branch, Barbados, West Indies; 3 Brothers:
Allan and Hazel Forde, Barbados, West Indies and Cavier Forde, England. He also leaves a
host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great grandchildren and nieces/nephews
from the United States, England, and Barbados, and a family friend Ms. Betty Heard. He also
had several foster children during his lifetime.
He was preceded in death by his parents, a sister, Avis Carter, a brother, Eustance
Forde, 2 grandsons, a granddaughter and several nieces and nephews.
A Private Homegoing Service will be live streamed via Facebook at 11:00 a.m. Monday,
June 29, 2020 from Leek & Sons Funeral Home, 304 E. Williams St. Danville. A public viewing
will be from 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. Sunday, June 28, 2020 at the funeral home.
DUE to COVID 19 regulations ALL family members and friends who plan to attend
VIEWING are REQUIRED to practice extreme precaution by wearing protective mask, gloves
and practicing social distancing. Please be considerate of others, as only ten people will be
allowed inside the Funeral Home at a time.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Deacon Hartley T. Forde, please visit our floral store.