Catherine Monica Forker of Massapequa passed away on January 29th, 2021 surrounded by her family at the age of 72. Catherine was born on January 20th, 1949 in West Hempstead to Katherine and Joseph Schmitt. She came from a very strong Irish heritage with family roots tracing back to County Mayo in Ireland.
Catherine attended Dominican Commercial where she received her high school diploma. She started her career at New York Telephone Company where she was a business manager in the credit and collections department for 17 years. Here she met her future husband Ed Forker. On November 26th, 1976 she married Ed Forker at St. Thomas the Apostle in West Hempstead. They had a loving marriage and partnership for 44 years.
After New York Telephone Company and period as a home maker she wanted to achieve her goal of higher education. Catherine returned to school and went on to attend SUNY Old Westbury where she graduated with honors while receiving her Bachelor of Science in Health & Society in 1996. She then received her Master of Science degree with distinction in Health Education from Hofstra in 2001. Catherine was a part of many programs that served the diverse health needs of others. Long Island Association for AIDS Care (LIAAC), Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), and Flu Vaccine Distribution Program through Northwell Health just to name a few. It was with LIAAC were she started to focus her passion to serve others. She was able to serve terminally ill AIDS patients in the middle of one of the biggest epidemics we have ever known. She made it her mission to eradicate this virus through awareness and education. She championed and operated a Peer AIDS program through Northwell Health that educated high school students on the disease, how it effects people’s lives, and how to prevent it.
As if running a program was not enough, she became a Professor at Adelphi from 2003 through 2020 where her focus was teaching about the effects of drug addiction and also was a recipient of the Robert Beer Award Community Health from Adelphi University.
She loved family ski trips to her second home on Stratton Mountain in Vermont. Catherine was an avid skier and a member of the Garden City Ski Club. Mad River Glen was their home ski area. Skiing was one of the loves of her life and was considered an expert skier. Another one of her great passions was to travel the world. Her destinations included Alaska, Hawaii, a majority of the lower 48 States, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, Greece, France, Portugal, Jerusalem, Switzerland, England, Spain, Germany and most of the Caribbean Islands .
Catherine’s true passion was to serve her family, friends, and her community. She cared deeply for many individuals and causes. Her compassion and love have made an impact in a countless amount of lives.
Catherine is survived by her husband Edward, her children Michael and Daniel, her daughter-in-law’s Donna and Stefanie, her grandchildren Elliana and Kaden and her brother George Schmitt.
In lieu of flowers the family is requesting donations to the ALS Association. A funeral mass will be held Wednesday February 3rd at 10:45 am at Maria Regina RC Church, Seaford.
Arrangements entrusted to Arthur F. White Funeral Home, Inc.
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