Forshner, Mort

Force:  Air Force

Born in Theodore SK on December 10, 1912, to parents Theodore and Lulu Lavina Forshner, Mort was the eldest son of ten children. From Theodore, Mort and his parents (and siblings) moved to Kindersley SK in 1918, to Kamsack in 1920, to Edmonton AB in 1925, to Prince Albert SK, and to Mildred SK in 1928.  By this time, Mort was helping his father with construction on the rail lines, from 1926 until 1932.  Mort filed on land in Mildred in 1932.  Joining the Air Force on April 24, 1941 at age 29, Mort was first trained in airport and runway maintenance.  He worked in Toronto, then in Alymer ON, Gander NF, and Torbay. Finally he was moved to the RCAF base in Carberry MB.  After his discharge on November 20, 1943, Mort returned to his homestead in Mildred, and built a house.  During 1942 while in Newfoundland, Mort met Emma Hilda Peach, a telephone operator.  They were married on April 26, 1945 in Prince Albert SK.  Around 1949, Mort, his brother Bob, and their father scouted out the Peace Country in order to file on some land.  They had to file in Edmonton, and Mort chose the E ½ – 24- 71 – 20 – W 5th in Sunset House.  The men found employment in Slave Lake at a lumber mill where they worked during the winter months.  On April 9, 1951, Mort and Emma and children moved all their belonging, and pre-fabricated houses, by rail car from Mildred to Edmonton.   From there they continued with the NAR until High Prairie, and then set off by road with a tractor and a Ford truck, arriving in Sunset House on June 9, 1951.  The mosquitoes were dreadful.  Clearing the land was by tractor at first, and eventually a cat was used. Life was rustic until electricity was hooked up in April 1961.  Wildlife was frequently encountered in the homestead area, and there were several exciting episodes with bears. Mort built his own sawmill to make lumber for himself, building for neighbors, and the community hall.  Mort and Emma had some livestock:  ducks, chickens, pigs, and a cow. They had 5 children:  Leander, Mina, Gerald, Margaret and Linda. After a few years a Massey-Harris combine was acquired to make farming easier, and the sons helped with the farm.  Also in later years Emma and Mort bought a trailer to live in, and they enjoyed entertaining their large family and friends.  Emma died in June 1995 at age 78.

Source:   Valleyview – Where the Red Willow Grew – p. 303 – name in Roll of Honour; pp. 509-512 family story; photo in uniform p. 509