Kewpie of the Month, February 2006

Joe Forsee, Class of 1943

    Fall 1941 - Junior        Fall 1945 - Nice, France

Story - Picture

A Columbian born and bred, a Kewpie through and through, he retired from the newspaper business December 31, 1993 and moved to — not Columbia, but Ashland, MO, 14 miles south of where he grew up.

Why? — as any husband would  know!  His wife was from Ashland.  No brainer.

After graduating from Hickman High in May, 1943, he, like other male graduates of that time, waited for Uncle Sam to beckon.  He had passed the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP) tests earlier that year and was told to wait until drafted to report for duty.  The program was prescribed for the ASTP guys to take infantry basic training and then be assigned to a college to obtain a bachelor’s degree and receive an Army officer’s commission.  With great anticipation, he looked forward to that experience.


True, he was assigned to an ASTP unit for basic training at Fort Benning, GA, but even before basic was competed, discovered that the program was disbanded and he, along with many, many others went straight to the infantry.  Assigned to Cannon Company, 301st Infantry Regiment, 94th Infantry Division, he remained with that unit through campaigns in France and Germany.  Upon discharge in 1946, Forsee listened to a fast talking Army guy and signed up for the reserves.  Dumb!  Dumb!

Using the GI Bill of Rights, he obtained a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master of Arts from Missouri while working for Francis Pike, long-time and well-known Circulation Manager at the Columbia Tribune.

Looking forward to getting a job, settling down and that stuff, he was surprised two weeks after graduation with an invitation — make that an order — to again serve in the Army.  It seems there was a conflict in Korea.

So that’s what he did — went to Korea, all expenses paid, courtesy of the US Army.  But, on the good side, he fought that war with a typewriter as a stenographer in Pusan, away from the shooting.  Lots better.

Returning to Columbia in 1951, he resumed work at the Tribune with “Mr. Pike.”

In September, 1954 he married Oleta Wren.  Six months later he went to Sedalia as Circulation Manager of the Sedalia Democrat-Capital.  From there he went to similar spots at the St. Joseph (MO) News-Press and Gazette and the St. Louis (MO) Post-Dispatch.  Then to the faculty of the J School at MU and finally to the International Circulation Managers Association in Reston, VA where he served as Executive Director until retirement.

He and Oleta have four children, eight grandchildren and one great granddaughter.

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Joe has an everlasting "Kewpie Spirit"
and shows that in his willingness, as he calls it, "helper" to
Betty Jacobs Aufranc in the publishing of the
KEWPIE NOTE, news for classmates from "that great class of '43!
Say hi to Joe!

Fall, 2005
With wife, Oleta
Savannah, GA

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