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Retired teacher feels well taken care of at Rolla Presbyterian Manor

Forrest O'Neal spoke during a Veteran's Day event at Rolla Presbyterian Manor. He served in the Marine Corps during the Korean War.

Forrest O’Neal is well-known in the Rolla community due to his long tenure as an educator.

In fact, one of his former students is Joelle Freeland, marketing and senior living director at Rolla Presbyterian Manor.

Forrest moved to the community a year ago, and he appreciates the care he and his wife are receiving. They particularly enjoy the Presbyterian Manor holiday celebrations.

Before he was a teacher, the Mexico, Mo., native served in the Marine Corps during the Korean War. He traveled to St. Louis to enlist in 1949.

As a Marine, Forrest served as an administrative clerk and sergeant major’s clerk in North Carolina as well as overseas. The thing he remembers most vividly about being stationed in Korea is the cold weather. One night the wind chill was 49 degrees below zero.

Forrest received his Bachelor of Science in education from Southeast Missouri State in Cape Girardeau, Mo., and he went on to earn a Master of Education from the University of Missouri.

He says he was motivated to go into the teaching field because he wanted to help young people, and he found teaching and coaching rewarding ways to spend his professional career. In fact, he didn’t retire until the age of 70.

Forrest taught physical education in East Prairie, Mo., before moving to Rolla. In addition to PE, he would teach American history and driver’s education. For the last 13 years of his career, he was a cooperative occupational education teacher.

One of Forrest’s most vivid memories from his career is when a young lady told him she planned to go to college to become a teacher herself.

After he retired, Forrest enjoyed taking trips to South Padre Island, Tex., and Disney World in Orlando, Fla.

When asked what he would tell someone thinking about moving to Presbyterian Manor, Forrest said he would emphasize the good care they would receive here.

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