July 28, 2016
Dear members of the Hotchkiss community,
It is with a heavy heart that we write to inform you that Forrest E. Mars Jr. ’49 passed away on Tuesday. He was 84.
Forrest was remarkably devoted to Hotchkiss, as an alumnus, classmate, parent, grandparent, and trustee. Forrest was an active member of the Class of ’49, serving as a Class Agent and loyal reunion volunteer. He served on the Board of Trustees from 1982-1992 and from 1995-2014. During his tenure as a trustee, he served with distinction on a range of Board committees, most notably as chair of the Building, Grounds, and Environment Committee. Forrest was elected a trustee emeritus in May 2015.
His legacy at Hotchkiss is visible across campus, from the Forrest E. Mars Athletic Center (MAC) to the renovations of Monahan and Harris House. Forrest also endowed the Audrey Meyer Mars English Wing and Teaching Chair, in memory of his beloved mother.
Forrest’s devotion to Hotchkiss was reflected in many less visible yet equally vital ways, including a stronger financial aid program and greater staff recognition for contributions to student life. He also created memorable student experiences such as three expeditions to Antarctica. He felt strongly that these trips would inspire our students to become future stewards of our fragile planet.
In honor of his service and generosity to Hotchkiss and his personal accomplishments, Forrest was awarded the 2014 Alumni Award, the School’s highest honor. In accepting the Award, he said of our school: “I went away from Hotchkiss with a sense of ethics and a set of values. And they’ve been with me all my life.”
He is survived by his wife, Jacomien; former wife, Virginia (Cretella) Mars, and their daughters, Victoria, Valerie ’77, Pamela, and Marijke ’82; former wife, Deborah Adair Clarke; brother, John Mars ’53; sister, Jacqueline Mars Badger; and 11 grandchildren, including Kimberly Spina ’09, Christopher White ’09, Justin White ’11, Andrew Spina ’11, and Kyra Doyle ’14. Other Hotchkiss relatives include his nephew, Michael Mars ’86.
Forrest was a dear and devoted member of the Hotchkiss community, and we will miss him deeply. Our hearts go out to the Mars family.
Jean Weinberg Rose ’80, P’18
President, Board of Trustees
Head of School