|Ethan Drew Forster, 6, was doing what came most natural to him, laughing and playing, when his life was cut short in a swimming pool accident July 26.
Ethan died three weeks short of his seventh birthday, when his parents were finally going to let him watch “Star Wars.” He asked his father to make his favorite cake: molten lava chocolate. (Ethan was always fascinated by lava).
Ethan was born August 21, 2001, in Sacramento to Lisa and David Forster. He came into the world smiling and flashing his dimples.
Even as a baby, Ethan was easygoing and content. He slept well, and often woke up singing.
He was extremely curious about how the world worked, but also very cautious. He stood back and observed before diving in. When his sister, Ava Simone, was born three years later, he often used her as his “guinea pig” before trying something new himself. Ethan adored his sister. They spent Saturday mornings cuddled on the couch, supposedly watching cartoons but often spending much of the time wrestling and giggling.
Smiles and laughs came easy to Ethan. It was hard for him to stay upset, because usually all it took was a funny face or tummy tickle to pull him back to his usual self.
When Ethan got his first box of Legos, it was love at first sight, especially “little Legos.” He followed the instructions and constructed the picture on the box. But then, he tore it down, and let his fertile imagination drive his many creations: usually elaborate, and often perfectly symmetrical. He proudly displayed his many “built by Ethan” rocket and fighter planes. He’d usually make one for himself and another for anyone he could get to play with him, usually asking: “Do you want to be the good guy or the bad guy?”
For Christmas, Ethan got his first “real” rocket – which he blasted into space. Santa also brought him his first bicycle without training wheels. He spent hours riding around the apartment complex where he lived in Eugene.
Ethan had many friends at home and at Harris Elementary School, where he finished first grade. He loved playing sword fights, trading Legos and Pokemon cards, and digging in the sand. But perhaps his favorite “toy” was a hose – he could spray water for hours, soaking everything in sight. He loved getting wet, making pools, building channels and dams.
Ethan also was fascinated with knights and loved dressing up as a warrior, with his sword or a light saber strapped to his side.
Ethan started camping with his parents soon after birth, and acquired their love of the outdoors. During one cross-country camping trip, he hiked to waterfalls, canoed rivers, explored caves, splashed around in lakes, ran along the ocean – and always collected lots of sticks along the way. He loved sticks.
Ethan always was surrounded by family. His grandparents were devoted to him, and spoiled him at every opportunity; but also passed along their advice and wisdom, which he seemed to take to heart.
This summer, Ethan spent weeks in excited anticipation of his first extended, “solo” visit to his grandparents in Selma, and a week of summer camp at the Fresno Zoo.
The day before he died, his grandpa John bought him a new sword, with a scabbard. They spent a swashbuckling evening in the living room.
Ethan is survived by his parents; his sister; his grandparents, Nancy McGee of Selma, Calif., Charles and Jean Wannamaker of Santa Rosa, Calif., and Darwin and Sandy Forster of Sacramento; his great-grandparents, Josephine Forster of Sacramento, and George and Betty Patterson of Yountville, Calif.; his aunts and uncles, Michelle and Vance Hernandez of Fresno, Calif., Scott and Tami Wannamaker of Brentwood, Calif., Pamela Engel of Sacramento, and Rachael Engel of Texas; and cousins, Macy and Amanda Wannamaker both of Brentwood, and Caitlyn Engel and Johnnie Kaylor, both of Sacramento.
Remembrances to Co-op Family Center, 2250 Patterson St., Eugene, OR 97405.
His absence has left a hole in his family’s heart that can’t be filled. The dimming of this bright light is an incalculable loss.|
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