Mark Andrew Forehand, 62, of Statesville, N.C., loving husband of Linda Sutton Forehand, passed away on June 17, 2023, after a courageous 14-month battle with pancreatic cancer. He was a beloved husband, father, son and brother. His memory will forever be cherished by those who knew him.
Mark was born on June 10, 1961, in Raleigh, N.C., to the proud parents, Isaac Juette Forehand and Julia Evelyn Cox. He grew up in a loving family and graduated from North Iredell High School in 1979. Following his graduation, Mark made the selfless decision to serve his country and enlisted in the United States Air Force.
After completing his basic training, Mark was stationed at Homestead Air Force Base in Florida, where he began his remarkable military career as an Aircraft Ground Equipment Mechanic. His dedication and commitment led him to achieve the highest enlisted rank, Chief Master Sergeant. Throughout his service, Mark demonstrated exceptional skills, leadership, and unwavering loyalty to his fellow servicemen.
In 1979, Mark met his former wife, Maria Fernanda Valverde in Miami, Florida. Mark and Maria went on to have two children, Monica Ann Forehand and Matthew Joseph Forehand. Mark’s devotion to his family was evident in the love and support he provided throughout their lives.
Mark’s commitment to public service extended beyond the military. In 2005, after retiring from the United States Air Force, Mark joined the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as an Investigative Technology Specialist in El Paso, Texas. His expertise and dedication contributed significantly to the agency’s mission, making a lasting impact in the fight against drug trafficking.
In 2007, Mark met and married the love of his life, Linda Gail Sutton, a remarkable woman of Whittier, N.C. They shared a deep connection and created a loving and nurturing home. In 2014, Mark and Linda returned to North Carolina, where they built a life centered around their family and faith, creating cherished memories together.
Mark is survived by his loving wife Linda Forehand; his parents, Juette and Julia Forehand; his brother, Allen Forehand (wife Nan); and his sister, Cindy Forehand Gibson (husband Hal). He will also be fondly remembered by his children, Monica Forehand Ferdinandsen (husband Ryan) and their children Austen, Brady, and Olivia; Matthew Forehand (wife Catalina) and their son Joaquin; Hannah Taggart (husband Joshua) and their children Landon, Wyatt, Nolan, and Corbin; Heather Lund (husband Austin) and their children Evelyn, Denali, Kendrick, and Brixton. Mark’s legacy of love and devotion will live on through his family and the countless lives he touched.
A service to celebrate Mark’s life will be held at Christ Church in Statesville on Saturday, June 24. A viewing session will take place from 9 to 11 a.m., followed by the memorial service at 11 a.m. Mark will later be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests donations to Brenner Children’s Hospital Wake Forest Baptist Health, an organization that held great importance to Mark, or to Gordon Hospice House in Statesville.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.bunchjohnsonfuneralhome.com for the Forehand family.
Bunch-Johnson Funeral Home is serving the family.