Barry Forde, who dedicated his life to feeding the hungry all across the Central Savannah River Area, passed away on Tuesday.
Forde, 65, of Augusta, was the Golden Harvest Food Bank associate director, and served the nonprofit for about 30 years.
Forde was instrumental in establishing Aiken’s Golden Harvest warehouse in 1985 and once served as the director of Aiken operations.
Forde touched many lives in Aiken through his work.
“His contribution to Golden Harvest was outstanding,” said Vicki Bukovitz, the executive director of Area Churches Together Serving, which benefits from the food bank’s services. “He worked endlessly to raise awareness for the need to support those living on the edge of day to day hunger.”
Mike Gibbons, Golden Harvest chief development officer in South Carolina, said Forde was a man of tremendous faith, and that faith led him to his work at the food bank. Gibbons added that Forde won’t just be missed by those at Golden Harvest, but by so many others in the areas in which his work made a positive impact.
“His hard work is really going to be a legacy left behind,” Gibbons said. “Barry will be missed, but remembered fondly, and we’ll work to continue the dedicated service that he did for so many years.”
Andrew Marine of Aiken was the chairman of the Golden Harvest board from 2003 to 2004. He said that Forde loved his job and was a very generous, happy man. Forde worked along side former executive director Mike Firmin and was a great member of the team, Marine said.
“Barry was the guy behind the scenes,” Marine said. “He was sort of the heartbeat of the food bank.”
Forde joined Golden Harvest Food Bank’s team in its second year of operation in 1984. He had a hand in distributing more than 200 million pounds of food to the hungry around the nonprofit’s service area, which reaches 30 counties.
“Barry was a man who, in his 30 years of service, had a single focus: to feed the hungry. He has been a humble servant and an inspirational mentor to me and the staff,” said Golden Harvest’s Executive Director Travis McNeal in a press release. “I have admired his unswerving commitment to Jesus and will forever remember him for his infectious smile, dedicated work ethic and kind-hearted spirit. He truly made an impact upon my life and made a lasting impression upon numerous people throughout our community.”
Forde is survived by his wife, Diane, and son, John.
A service will be held at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church located at 2607 Lumpkin Road in Augusta on Saturday at 9 a.m.