OBITUARY: Staley Ray Forsythe


Staley Ray “Guitar-Picker” Forsythe, age 65 of Cumberland furnace, TN passed away on Saturday, July 24, 2021 at his home after a long and brave battle with cancer.

Per his wishes, a celebration of life will follow in mid-August.

A Valentine’s baby, he was born on February 14, 1956 on the family farm in Neptune, TN to the late Marvin and Lillie Mai Forsythe. He was a lifelong roadwarrior, working as a truck driver for 25 years for numerous companies including Intermodal Cartage Company, Inc. of Memphis, TN.

Staley Ray was an avid bass fisherman and a talented multi-instrumentalist who in his free time entertained audiences with his guitar-picking and unmistakable country music and blues-influenced style. He will be remembered by friends and neighbors for his renditions of hits from Conway Twitty, Hank Williams, Chet Atkins, and the Highwaymen.

A lifelong member of the Cumberland furnace community, he served as the pyrotechnics specialist for the annual Fourth of July fireworks celebration at the community center for 18 years. A charismatic family man with an infectious laugh, he brought joy and happiness to his friends and family and was always ready with a witty joke, kind advice, and a helping hand.

Survivors include his wife of 44 years: Connie Forsythe of Cumberland furnace; his son: Staley John Forsythe of Lyles; and his stepdaughter: Summer Schmidt of Clawhammer. A devoted grandfather, he leaves behind his dear grandchildren: Dixie, Nathan, Destiny, Chance, and Jackson Forsythe and Angel and Thunder Vance. He was preceded in death by his beloved daughter: Candi Vance; and his devoted sister: Nancy Camden.

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