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Harriett Ann Swales Forrest, 96, of Leonardtown died Dec. 27, 2012.

Born June 20, 1915, in Leonardtown, she was the daughter of the late Frank and Jane Frances McWilliams Swales.

She was educated in public schools in St. Mary’s County.

In 1935, she married James A. Forrest Sr. at St. Aloysius Gonzaga Catholic Church. She and her husband had five children and were married for 73 years.

She and her husband had a passion for education and were very involved in St. Mary’s County public schools. She instilled the importance of education in her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, many of whom achieved bachelor’s, master’s, theological and doctorate degrees. She opened her home to school teachers new to the county needing a place to stay. One of her first jobs was to start the fire for the schoolchildren in the morning at her school. She would often quote her favorite schoolteacher, Cora King, who told her about the importance of education and saving money.

She was a member of the Gray Ladies under the auspices of the American Red Cross; a member of the Red Hat Ladies; a volunteer with Helping Hands; and she contributed to the St. Vincent dePaul Society. She and her husband played a leading role in the youth programs in St. Mary’s County, especially the 4-H Club and the St. Mary’s County Department of Recreation and Parks with many of the youth activities held in their backyard.

She was a faithful servant of the Lord. She died with her rosary and scapular in her hands. She was rarely without her rosary. When she became homebound, she watched Mass for the shut-ins every day on the Eternal World Television Network.

She is survived by four children, George (Chiquita), Lewis I. (Eudora), Barbara (Nace) and Francis/Bert (Margaret); nine grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; a host of nieces and nephews; two sisters-in-law; extended family members and very close friends. She was preceded in death by her beloved and faithful husband, Dr. James A. Forrest Sr.; son, James A. Forrest Jr.; her parents; and her 18 brothers and sisters.

The family will receive friends Saturday, Jan. 5, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at St. Peter Claver Catholic Church in St. Inigoes, where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. by the Rev. Scott Woods, the Rev. Damian Shadwell and the Rev. John Dakes. Interment will follow at the church cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of St. Mary’s, P.O. Box 625, Leonardtown, MD 20650.

Arrangements are being handled by Brinsfield Funeral Home in Leonardtown.