Lester Forbell Jr.

Dec. 13, 1954 - June 07, 2016

Lester Forbell Jr., who was called Zeke by family and friends, died at home on Queens Lane in East Hampton on June 7. He was 61 and had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer last summer.

Mr. Forbell was a skilled mechanic, with a passion for cars. He worked for the East Hampton Town Highway Department starting in 1995, and had previously worked at local junk yards and the old North Main Texaco in East Hampton. “He was the type that it got fixed right the first time,” his wife, the former Marianne Hawkins, said. Any free time he had was always spent working on cars. He had a 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1, which he had restored and took to shows all over Long Island.

In recent years, Mr. Forbell and his son, Lester Forbell III, served in the pit crew for Cory Midgett, a cousin who races at Riverhead Speedway. Mrs. Forbell said it had brought them closer together. The raceway dedicated the race to Mr. Forbell on Saturday.

He was born at Southampton Hospital on Dec. 13, 1954; his parents were Lester Forbell and the former Mildred Havens, whose family has been in East Hampton for several generations. He grew up in East Hampton and Amagansett and attended East Hampton High School.

“He was one of the most generous people,” his wife said. “No matter what, day or night, if somebody needed help he would do it,” she said, adding that he never expected anything in return.

The couple had been together for 34 years, but married after more than 11 years when Mr. Forbell surprised his wife with a shopping trip to purchase rings. 

In addition to his wife and his son, Mr. Forbell is survived by his son’s fiancée, Jamie Bennett. The couple and their children lived with Mr. and Mrs. Forbell on Queens Lane. Mr. Forbell’s siblings, Mona Forbell of East Hampton, Diane Forbell of Riverhead, and Carol Tarazavich of Mastic, and numerous nieces and nephews survive, as do two grandchildren, Jaiden Forbell, 7, and Emma Forbell, 5, who were “the absolute joys of his life,” his wife said.

A service was held last Thursday at the Yardley and Pino Funeral Home in East Hampton, followed by private burial. The family has said that donations to cover Mr. Forbell’s medical expenses would be appreciated. They can be sent to Mildred Forbell, P.O. Box 518, East Hampton 11937.