Bertha F. Forner

June 3, 1923November 11, 2012
Play Tribute Movie

Bertha Frances Forner (Swalec) was born to first generation citizens Andrew and Sophia Swalec in Wacousta, MI. Raised on a farm while attending Watertown Center’s one-room school house, Bertha worked her way through high school, graduating from St. Mary’s in Lansing. As a young woman, she moved to Ann Arbor to help the war effort by working in the Willow Run Bomber Plant as one of many “Rosie the Riveters”. She later married Charles John Forner at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church.

Bertha raised her four children alone, following the tragic death of her husband in 1955. Her children graduated from St. Thomas while Bertha worked at King- Seeley and later at the University of Michigan as a computer tape librarian. In her retirement years, she was active in St. Thomas Altar Society, enjoyed reading, gardening, and playing bingo.

She is survived by her daughters Barbara, Susan, Kathryn, Deborah, grandsons Andrew Charles Forner (Dallas, TX), David and Kyle Shipman (Atlanta, GA), and sister Stella (Babe) Wenzlick, also her 15 nieces and nephews. Her extended children and family include her daughters’ life-long friends, several loving neighbors, and church members.

In celebration of her 89 faith-filled years, visitation will be Thursday, November 15, 2012 from 4:00-8:00pm with the rosary at 7:30p at Muehlig Funeral Chapel. Funeral Mass will be Friday, November 16th at 10:00am at St. Thomas the Apostle Church.


  • Visitation Thursday, November 15, 2012
  • Mass of Christian Burial Friday, November 16, 2012

Bertha F. Forner

have a memory or condolence to add?


receive updates when new memories are posted

Angus Krezel

February 6, 2013

To Barbara, Susan, Kathryn and Deborah;
So sorry to here of the death of your mother. She was a lovley lady. I will always remember the kindness she showed when my father was sick and my youngest son, Tim, and I came up to look after him. When I think of your mother, 1 Corinthians 13:4-13:7 comes to mind. My condolances to all of you, The hurt of loosing your mother will fade and the good memories will grow stronger and last for ever.

Ron Wenk

February 6, 2013

To my former friends "The Forner" girls . Ladies we grew up living next door to each others for over 15 years before we all grew up an moved on with our lives. During those years I knew your mom as well as my own. She was so good with all the neighbor kids. I am so sorry she has passed away but having reached the age of 89 I would say she lived a very full life. My best wishes to all of you and your families.

December 1, 2012

Dear daughters and family...sending prayers for the grieving friends and family. Mrs. Forner is a distant memory for me, but I remember her as peaceful and polite and always accepting of my friendship with daughter Debbie...hey Debbie...take good care of each other. Blessings, Peggy Wolford DWYER Look me up, Deb britton Michigan

Bobbie Abend(Jaeger)

November 23, 2012

I was very sorry to hear of the loss of your mother. You and your family are in my prayer. Barbara (Bobbie Jaeger (Abend) class of "68. (1-734-434-1781)

November 16, 2012

Dear Kathy, Andrew and family,
We were very sad to hear the news about your mom's passing, and have been waiting to hear about when the funeral service was going to be held. I'm so sorry we missed it! Your mom was a wonderful woman... we have enjoyed having her as our neighbor for many years, and will miss her. She will always be in our hearts, as will you! Love from Fred and Iris Gruhl, and family.

November 16, 2012

Kathy and Family--Saddened to hear you have lost your mom...Cherish the memories. God bless you now and in the days to come. Kathy (Magielski) Barton

Denise Buck

November 15, 2012

Kathy, Susan, Deb & Barb ~
Thoughts and prayers for all of you as you face the next two days of goodbyes! May the knowledge that your Mom is already in the loving embrace of the Heavenly Father bring you comfort as you celebrate her earthly life!

November 15, 2012

Barb, I'm sorry to hear about your mother. She surely will be missed greatly. May she rest in peace! Your old classmate from St. Thomas, Susan (Fleischman) Muldoon

November 15, 2012

Nice obituary - sounds like your Mom led a full life. I loved the photo gallery -lots of great memories for you and your sisters. Remember I'm with you in spirit.
Love and prayers, Deniece (Seattle, WA)


November 15, 2012

My thoughts and prayers go out to the Forner family.
I only knew Mrs. Forner as a customer of our store.
She was a very nice person.
Find strength in the Lord.