It is with great sadness that we share that Dr. Stefan “Steve” Brent Forrester, 53, of Montevallo, Alabama, passed away unexpectedly, but peacefully, at his home on Saturday, July 15, 2023.
Steve was born on December 8, 1969, to Emery “Doc” and Elizabeth “Beth” Forrester in Alton, Illinois. After graduating from Roxana High School in 1988, Steve received his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 1993, a Master of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Oklahoma in 1996, a Master of Fine Arts from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in Creative Writing (Poetry) in 1999, and a Master of Arts (2004) and Ph.D. (2008) in Philosophy from the University of Rochester.
Steve was an Instructor in Philosophy at the Eastman School of Music from 2005—2007. He began working as an Instructor at the University of Montevallo in 2007. He served as Assistant Professor of English and Philosophy from 2008—2013, then was promoted to Associate Professor. He taught classes in the Honors Program, collaborated with colleagues across campus to teach interdisciplinary courses, lead the Interdisciplinary Studies Program, contributed to the creation of the Peace and Justice Studies minor, and served as Faculty Senate President. He began coordinating the Philosophy Program in 2020. Dr. Forrester completed an M.A. in Religious Studies from Athens State University in 2023, and added a World Religions course to his Philosophy, English, and interdisciplinary course rotation at UM.
Steve loved the arts, attending symphony orchestra performances regularly, contemplating the visual arts, writing poetry, and savoring fine dining. A wordsmith and cruciverbalist, Steve created monthly crossword puzzles for the Montevallo Chamber of Commerce newsletter. Steve enjoyed travel to Cuba, Scotland, England, Portugal, Spain, and St. Croix as well as a month-long Writing Residency at the Arteles Creative Center in Finland and an Environmental Philosophy Reading Retreat at the International Center for the Arts in Italy.
He will be remembered for his smile, his laugh, his kind heart, and incredible sense of humor along with his many academic accomplishments. Steve built meaningful long-term relationships and was able to do so wherever he was in this world. Steve’s immeasurable charm was appreciated not only by his family and friends but also his students and colleagues. He was very generous, especially when sharing his knowledge and wisdom. Steve genuinely enjoyed teaching and left a wonderful legacy in the humanities.
Steve was preceded in death by his father Emery “Doc” Forrester, grandparents Emery and Ethel Mae Forrester and Delbert “Dutch” and Nellie Williams. Steve is survived by his mother Elizabeth “Beth” Forrester of Bethalto, Illinois; his partner of more than 15 years Dr. Jill Wicknick of Montevallo, Alabama, and her son Edwin Anthony of Albuquerque, New Mexico; brother Derek (Leslie) Forrester of Moro, Illinois, nephews Nathaniel and Alexander Forrester of Moro, Illinois; as well as many beloved aunts, uncles, cousins and dear friends from all over the world.
In lieu of a memorial service there will be two Celebrations of Life. The first Celebration will be held at the University of Montevallo Center for the Arts on Tuesday, August 15, at 6 p.m. The second Celebration will be held on Sunday, October 8, in Grafton, Illinois. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend either or both celebrations. If you need to travel for the celebration in Grafton, IL there will be lodging available at Tara Point Inn and Aeries Resort; please contact Derek for more information.