South Huntingdon master farmer succeeded by working hard, lending a hand
When Greg Forejt Sr. wanted something done, he'd do it, no matter the effort involved.
When he was a young man, he wanted to work on an East Huntingdon farm, so he introduced himself to the owner, Lyman Stoner.
“He stopped one day, he must have been 21 or 22, and he said, ‘I've always admired this farm, and I'd like to know if I can work for you,' ” said Nancy Stoner, Lyman's daughter.
Mr. Forejt got the job and worked with Mr. Stoner for about a decade before purchasing the 160-acre farm for himself. In the years that followed, he turned Windy Heights farm into a 1,600-acre enterprise earning the designation of “Mid-Atlantic Master Farmer” from American Agriculturalist magazine along the way.
Gregory “Greg” S. Forejt Sr., 57, of South Huntingdon, died on Friday, Sept. 29, 2017, in Davis Medical Center, Elkins, W.Va, after an all-terrain vehicle crash.
He was born Aug. 28, 1960, in Mt. Pleasant, the son of Grace Marie Oden Forejt of Ruffsdale and the late Charles “Bus” Forejt.
His philosophy of working hard and lending a helping hand served him on his farm and in his personal life.
“He was one of the hardest-working men we knew, honest and genuine. Never one to hold anything back. When he told you something, he believed it,” said his son, Garrett Forejt. “He never did anything half in or half out.”
Mr. Forejt was happy to serve as a resource for area farmers, providing advice and support to anyone who asked.
“There were very few people who knew as much about farming as he did,” Garrett Forejt said. “He really wanted to see the community prosper, not just himself.”
He was a supplier of Pioneer Seed and a member of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and the Westmoreland Fair Board.
After Mr. Forejt bought Windy Heights farm, the Stoners continued to live at the farmhouse, and Mr. Forejt cared for them the rest of his life, Nancy Stoner said.
“There wasn't a day that went by that he wasn't here, either calling at 7 o'clock in the morning or coming to see if I was OK,” she said. “I'll certainly miss him.”
The one thing he cared about more than his farm was his family, wife, Lesley Smith Forejt and sons Garrett and Gregory.
“Everything he did, he did for the family,” Garrett Forejt said.
Mr. Forejt's sons will continue to run Windy Heights Farm, making it bigger and better, Garrett Forejt said.
Mr. Forejt is survived by his wife, Lesley Smith Forejt; sons Garrett Forejt, of Carnegie, and Gregory S. Forejt and his wife, Emily Kelly, of Ruffsdale, and his mother, Grace Marie Odin Forejt.
Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at Saloom-Rega Funeral Service, 730 W. Main St., Mt. Pleasant, where services will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday.