Library memorial gift honors Karen and Ed Forys

  • Written by Karin Hopper

Long-time Woodinville residents Ed and Karen Forys were avid readers who loved the library.

Puget Sound area residents since 1980, Ed and Karen moved to Woodinville in 1987. It was their wish to make a significant donation to the King County Library System Foundation to support library programs and activities at the Woodinville Library.

Edward J. Forys was born in Queens, New York.

He graduated from City College of New York with a degree in political science and joined the Air Force during the Vietnam War. Ed was a highly decorated flight navigator receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross on three occasions, and numerous air medals for valor. Ed was nominated for Pacific Air Force Junior Officer of the year.

He rose to the rank of Lt. Colonel before retiring from the Air Force in 1987 after 22 years of service.

After earning a masters degree in finance, Ed worked as a financial planner until he retired in 1993.

Ed enjoyed music, films, books, photography and long peaceful walks.

He was bright, witty, good humored, gracious and endearing to all his friends. Ed passed away January 12, 2011.

Karen Ann Olson Forys was born in Rochester, New York.

After moving to California she earned a PhD in education. Dr. Forys progressed through many teaching and administrative rolls before taking positions of Superintendent in the Clover Park and Riverview school districts.

In 1994 she accepted the position of Superintendent of the Northshore School District and held that position until her death in 2007 after 13 years of service.

In 1999, Dr. Forys was named Washington State Superintendent of the Year and was one of four finalists for the national title.

Karen was a compassionate educator who devoted her life to helping children. Karen was a shy but endearing person to all who knew her.

She enjoyed reading, handicrafts, gardening, walking and cycling.

She and Ed both enjoyed skiing and hiking in Sun Valley.

Ed and Karen Forys spent many hours in the Woodinville Library and found the King County Library System to be a great resource for both professional and recreational information and reading materials.

"Thanks to this gracious and welcome gift from Ed and Karen, KCLS will continue to bring literacy, learning, and library access to all members of the Woodinville community" said KCLS Foundation director Jeanne Thorsen."We deeply appreciate this generous donation and, on behalf of the library patrons in King County, offer profound thanks to Ed’s three sisters."

Ed and Karen will be forever missed by their loving friends and family.

In their honor, the Woodinville Library will dedicate the "Forys Meeting Room" and the "Forys Atrium," ensuring their memory will live on in the library they loved.

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