Stephen Michael (Mike) Forsythe, DVM, died on Sunday afternoon, October 15, 2023, at the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital surrounded by his loving family. As the owner of Amanda Animal Hospital for 43 years, Mike was known as a lover of animals and exceptional veterinarian throughout Fairfield County. Mike was born on March 23, 1948, to the late Jerry and June Forsythe in Middletown, Ohio. He was raised in Baltimore, Ohio, and graduated from Liberty Union High School in 1966. While a student at Liberty Union, he participated in football, basketball and track and worked for his grandfather’s grain elevator.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Bowling Green University in 1970 and his doctorate in veterinary medicine at The Ohio State University in 1975. Mike married the love of his life of more than 53 years, Linda Kay Flenner, in 1970 and together they started the Amanda Animal Hospital in Amanda, Ohio. He was a skilled veterinarian of animals, large and small, building a successful practice that started in his garage on State Route 159 and moved to its current larger location on State Route 188. Mike would doctor dogs and cats, but his real love was large animal veterinary practice. Family dairies dotted the Fairfield County landscape in those days and Mike loved working with cattle and even milked a small herd with his sons. He loved learning and the challenge of complicated procedures and was always working to improve his skills and expertise as a veterinarian, so much so that friends and family were known to ask him for medical advice. Mike served as the veterinarian for many years at the Pickaway and Fairfield County Fairs and the Hillsboro Livestock Sale. He retired in 2018 after 43 years.
Mike was a member of the Saint John XXIII Parish and was a devout Catholic. He was an active member in his community as a member of Farm Bureau and volunteered his time with his sons as a biddy football and assistant varsity coach in Amanda. Mike fiercely loved his children and grandchildren and regardless of how busy he was with his veterinary practice, he found time to attend the high school and college sporting events for his three children and high school events for his grandchildren. As much as he loved sporting events, he loved the Fairfield County Fair more and watching his grandchildren show dairy cows and feeders in the Round Barn each year brought him immeasurable joy.
He also loved amusement parks and vacationing. Mike traveled with his wife, children, and grandchildren to Walt Disney World in Florida regularly and is remembered for his love of adventure by riding roller coasters and being the grandpa that was all in for whatever activity that was on the schedule while on vacation. His infectious laugh and great smile will be fondly remembered. He and Linda were able to travel to Florida for several winters lately where he could embrace his passion for fishing. More than even his children and grandchildren, Mike most loved his devoted wife, Linda, of 53 years. They cared tremendously for each other as husband and wife and partners in the family business. He was fiercely protective, faithful, and madly in love with Linda to the last moment. They were blessed to celebrate 50 years of marriage with family and friends at a celebration in 2020. In 2018, Mike celebrated his retirement with family and friends where he was described as hard working, a strong leader, innovative and kindhearted. In his retirement he enjoyed morning conversations at Panera Bread with his favorite buddies.
In addition to Linda, Mike is survived by his children, Charles Forsythe, Greg (Tonya) Forsythe, and Jodi Forsythe, grandchildren Audrey (Brady) Taulbee, Ashley Forsythe, Kayla Forsythe, Rachael Forsythe, Aaron Sharp, and Sara Sharp and great-grandchildren Iris and August Taulbee. He is also survived by his brother Joseph Scott (Melanie) Forsythe, step-brother Mark (Mary) McGee, and step-sister Penny (Chris) Hollett and step-sister-in-law Susie McGee. He was preceded in death by his parents Jerry and June Forsythe, and his step-brother Mike McGee.
A Public Remembrance Service will be held on Saturday, October 21, 2023, at 9 a.m. in the FRANK E. SMITH FUNERAL HOME CHAPEL, 405 N. COLUMBUS ST., LANCASTER, OHIO 43130. A Mass OF Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Mark Catholic Church, 324 Gay Street, Lancaster, Ohio 43130 with Father Brian O’Connor Celebrant, followed by internment at Floral Hills Memory Gardens. Friends and family may visit at the funeral home on Friday, October 20, 2023, from 4-8 p.m.
Memorial gifts may be given to St. Jude Children Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.
To send an online condolence, and sign the guestbook, please visit www.funeralhome.com.