Mary Glezos Forsman-Barnes passed away peacefully on Monday, January 21, 2019 due to causes incident to age and a broken heart. She was 94 years old. Her best friend and companion for more than 45 years, Donald Barnes had died just nine days earlier. As they grew older, both had commented many times that if one was gone, the other would be ready to go, too.
Four score and 14 years ago, Mary was born (September 16, 1924) to Ernest and Christine Glezos, Mary grew up in So. Salt Lake attending school and working in the family businesses with her parents and brothers, Ted and John. The first and most well known enterprise was Mary’s Grill and Tavern which opened in 1934 and operated under various names (Mary’s Place, Mary’s Bar & Grill, Mr. G’s) until the mid 1970’s. The businesses also included a Ben Franklin Store (google it, youngsters) in So. Salt Lake, the Wasatch Hotel and Circle Inn Tavern in downtown Salt Lake and a real estate business.
In 1955 she married Harold Alexander Forsman at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. Their family grew to include sons Ernest Carl (Tasso), Victor Harold, and Theodore John Forsman. Tragically, Harold passed much too early of cancer in 1966, leaving Mary with three young boys. With the help and support of family and friends, she selflessly dedicated herself to raising her sons and teaching them the values of integrity, hard work and a good education. She sacrificed much to make sure they had unlimited opportunity for success.
When the family business was dissolved in the late ‘70’s, Mary had to re-invent herself in order to provide for her sons who were either in or soon to be entering college (two would ultimately graduate from Stanford University). She went to work at Smith’s Management Corp. before moving to the USPS first as a Mail Handler and later as an instructor in the PEDC Unit. She worked in that capacity until her retirement in 1994.
While she was ending a lifetime as a restaurant/bar owner and beginning a new career, she met Don Barnes. He was a genuinely good man. He made her life fun again. He filled the void left by Harold’s death. He treated her sons as his own. They dated for 17 years before finally being married in 1989. They would spend the rest of their lives loving each other, laughing with each other and caring for one another.
Don came with more than just a great friendship for Mary and her sons. His children Rory (Cori) and Robyn were part of the Barnes package. They added even more enjoyment, support and love to her life. And they gave her more grandchildren. Jack, Sofi and Kate Forsman were joined by Jake (Devon) Barnes, Braydon Barnes (deceased) Baylee Barnes Drage (Nick), Merceydes Lopez (Alex) and Jimmy Powers (Lindsey). She loved them all dearly.
Being the only two living in Salt Lake, Jake and Baylee were especially close to their Yia Yia. They know they were fortunate to have her in their lives and they showed it with the love and respect they returned to her. Using the home court advantage, Rory, Cori, Jake and Baylee gave Yia Yia and Pop the kind of experience that every grandparent hopes for.
Throughout her life, Mary always found time to volunteer her time and effort to worthy causes. She taught Sunday School at Holy Trinity for 35+ years, worked the lunch room at St. Ann’s Catholic School and manned the front desk at St. Sophia Hellenic Orthodox School. For years, she was one of the core group of people who worked for months preparing food and pastries for the annual Greek Festival. She was a member of the Philoptochos Society and also spent time working at the Assistance League.
Yia Yia was an amazing cook and baker. When she was in the kitchen, everyone knew that they had something delicious to look forward to. She made delectable Greek cookies and food and shared her impeccable cooking skills with her loved ones by teaching them her secret recipes. Yia Yia's cooking reflected who she was as a person - she was a compassionate, selfless, perfectionist who gave more of her time to her loved ones and her church than herself. She wanted to make everyone full of life and delicious food and we will always be grateful for the lessons she taught us and the memories of her in her kitchen.
Mary is survived by Vic and Ted Forsman, Rory (Cori) Barnes, Robyn Powers, grandchildren (listed previously), great grandson Gabriel Barnes, numerous nieces and nephews including Tina Whipple who was at her side daily for the last weeks of her life. Mary was supported and cared for by her son Victor, who was at her side until her last hour through his steadfast and unwavering love and attention. Vic will forever be grateful for the love she gave and the example she set.
Preceded in death by Harold Forsman, Tasso Forsman, Donald Barnes, Braydon Barnes, parents and siblings.
We will miss your love, your wit, your humor, your toughness, your Sunday dinners and your legendary Christmas Day Brunch.
A viewing will be held at Starks Funeral Parlor located at 3651 South 900 East in Salt Lake City on Thursday, January 31, 2019 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm with a Trisagion service beginning at 7:00 pm. Funeral services will be held on Friday, February 1, 2019 at 11:00 am at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 279 South 300 West, Salt Lake City, with burial to follow at Mt. Olivet Cemetery where Mary will be buried beside her husband Harold and son Tasso. A small urn containing Don’s ashes will be placed in her hand.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church.
May her memory be eternal.