Monday, September 13, 2010

A Good Man is Dead and Will Be Greatly Missed

Forlow, John “Ian” Kelly  of Rockford, Illinois died September 8th on the way home from a trip to Bermuda. He was born in Rotten Row Hospital, Glasgow, Scotland to Alexander and Euphemia (Gilmour) Forlow. Known as Ian, he was the oldest of 3 children. He was educated at St John’s Primary and St John’s Senior Secondary School in Glasgow before continuing his studies at Glasgow University.

Ian was raised in incredibly modest circumstances. During his early years he shared a tenement flat with just 2 rooms in the Bridgeton area of Glasgow with his parents, sister Elma, brother Joe and a widowed aunt. During World War II he was evacuated from Glasgow after German bombing raids and he lived for a while on a farm. He managed to rise above his difficult surroundings, forged a successful career and raised a family. He rose through a mechanical engineering training program at Babcock & Wilcox in Glasgow and eventually moved with wife Betty and two small children in tow to Canada after accepting a position with Fruehauf and Co. From there he emigrated to Detroit in 1966, registered for the US draft and took a position with ExCellO Corp in Howell, MI where he eventually was appointed Chief of Engineering. In 1978 the family moved to Rockford when he accepted a management position at Greenlee Brothers. He eventually became President and part owner of Roper Whitney Manufacturing.

Ian accomplished much in his career and was awarded several patents, including one which involved work on the tooling required to cut the tiles which were affixed to the outside of the Space Shuttle. He was a volunteer for several years with AYSO and while he served as President of the Rockford Area AYSO he helped convince the Rockford Park District to build the new Sports Core Soccer Complex.

Ian enjoyed travel. Work and vacations took him to all corners of the world. He loved literature and could quote passages from the Bible as well as works of the poet Robert Burns. He was a music lover. As a boy he found time to teach himself to play the piano and guitar. He earned pocket money playing in a wedding band as a teenager.

Although he left his homeland many years ago and was proud to eventually become a US citizen, all who knew him will tell you that he was intensely proud to be a Scot.

Special thanks to Dr Lim, Dr Khan, Dr Ryan and all of the wonderful staff at OSF.

Survivors include wife Elizabeth “Betty”; son John (Kathy) of Deerfield, son David (Molly) of Lake Bluff, daughter Andrea of Chicago (fiancé Brad) and 5 grandchildren: Kayleigh, Emma, Andrew, Ian and Liam as well as brother Joe and sister Elma. His grandchildren were his pride and joy, he loved to spend time with his family and attend the various activities of his children and grandchildren. He will be sorely missed by all.

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