2023 Inspirational Family:
The Forsyth Family
The journey of life constantly throws many challenges at us, and in a moment one of these challenges can turn our world upside down. Unfortunately, for Jen Forsyth and her family, they experienced a life altering challenge shortly before Christmas on December 4, 2022 when her husband BJ was taken from her and her family in an auto accident. On his way home from helping Jen with her dog walking business, BJ’s car was tragically hit by a drunk driver in a rented UHaul. BJ was instantly killed, and Jen and her children’s lives are now forever changed from this devastating loss.
Jen and BJ met during her junior year of college at California University of PA in October of 1997. BJ was running for Homecoming King and he asked Jen’s sorority for support. Jen said, “I remember seeing this guy in a white dress shirt, suspenders, slicked back hair and glasses, and thinking he was the biggest nerd! But when he spoke, I instantly liked him.” A few months after their first encounter, BJ and Jen’s love story began.
They were soon married in November of 1999 and then for the next few years they began several moves by venturing from Cal U to Fort Myers, Fl to Allentown, PA and then to several other Pittsburgh neighborhoods before looking for a final place to settle down. Along the way BJ and Jen grew their family with three loving children including Braden 22, Ko 19, and Emma 15. The family prospered in strength and love, but some of life’s challenges seemed to always be at their doorstep. Their middle son Ko was diagnosed by doctors with autism in 2010. BJ and Jen had to battle with two different school districts to obtain some of his basic educational needs and rights. Finally in 2016 Ko was placed in the Watson Institute in Allegheny County to help Ko develop his skills. While this struggle was happening, Jen was fighting a battle of her own. Jen had a serious case of pancreatitis that left her hospitalized on and off for more than two years. This setback left her family personally and financially devastated. Jen said that through the struggles BJ was the one keeping their family together.
In 2018, they moved to Cranberry Township where their lives began improving for the better by meeting some amazing friends. Jen started a dog walking and pet care business for some added income. BJ ventured out by joining a Masonic Lodge and also became a member of Crossroads Church in Cranberry. One of BJ’s favorite jobs was running the slides every Sunday morning. He was a devoted father and never missed an event for the kids and was always willing to lend a helping hand to a friend, neighbor, or even a stranger. As stated in BJ’s eulogy, he was famous for saying, “If there is anything I can do for you, just let me know.”
It is sad and unfair that such a wonderful person like BJ could be taken so tragically and quickly from his family. The Cranberry CUP has selected Jen and her family as our 2023 Inspirational Family which will benefit them by the love and support of our community. Their story is one that could happen to anyone and at any time. Let’s show them how we can be a Community of Uniting People for this worthy cause.