Lionel Edward Forbert was born April 4, 1940 to Sayde Barsky Forbert and Sol Forbert in New York City, New York. He was raised in Bennington, VT and attended school there where he met and later married Barbara Ayer Forbert. To this union was born one son, David Michael, who died at birth, and his two daughters, Sarah Forbert Watson and Rachel Forbert Acree. Later in his life he met and married Karla Rounds. He welcomed, loved and cared for her and her sons, Lincoln Leatherman and Weston Leatherman as his own children. Lionel and Karla were married on January 13, 2007 and lived, loved and laughed for 13 years together. A gift both felt was given to them by GOD. Lionel’s professional life was that of a power and electrical engineer. He attended college at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and accomplished post-doctoral graduate studies. He began his career as an employee of General Electric Corporation and quickly was promoted to executive status. He was General Manager of GE Plants in Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago, & Dallas throughout the course of his employment. Once the GE Corporate office saw how he ran their plants he managed, they quickly began using him as the person who was sent to failing GE plants and was told to fix them or shut them down. He managed them well and he always fixed them and brought them back to stable, profitable plants. He was excellent as his job and was recruited to do management training for new GE executives. He was recognized for his success by receiving numerous awards and rose to the Executive rank of #176 in one of the world’s largest corporations. He was the youngest man to have been accepted into the Elfin Society, an invitation only organization of investors associated with GE. Lionel was also a 32nd Degree Mason, an accomplishment he treasured.
During his tenure at GE he was the chief Negotiator for GE with the labor union there. Lionel was not only a “fixer” of plant management, but also union negotiation. Because of his skill and knowledge, he was contracted by NASA to design and develop equipment for a space mission. He invented, developed and designed the exploding collar that held the manned space ship to the rockets fuel supply. So he really was a Rocket Scientist! He was also periodically under contract of the Federal Government to invent, design & develop specific parts of nuclear war head missiles. One of his great loves was machinery, and motors. He could fix anything and did. His specialty was locomotive motors and many of the plants he managed he supervised, built and repaired locomotive engines. He was often called to large companies to repair or design power supplies for coal mines, glass manufacturers, paper mills and many companies who used larger power supplies.
In 1984 he and a partner retired from GE and purchased M&I Electric. That business built power equipment for cruise ships, off shore drilling rigs and many other industrial companies requiring switch gear or power equipment. Lionel was fearless and determined to make the business a success to the point of arresting and holding in port an entire ocean liner to prevent them from leaving port without paying. That company exists today on NASDQ stock exchange as American Electric Technologies Industries. In 2004, he retired from M&I Electric and maintained his holdings in the company. He also owned and operated a Used Car dealership in Livingston Texas, Awesome Autos where his retirement home on Lake Livingston, Texas is located. It was there he employed Lana Baggett who along with her husband Tommy have been faithful friends.
In 2008 Lionel met Orin Patton and developed a longstanding friendship with him. Lionel seeing the potential of the building which was once the Leedey Nursing Home in Leedey Oklahoma he and Weston renovated and converted it to Leedey Ranch Lodge & Restaurant.
Lionel loved living in Leedey and one of his greatest joys was to visit with his friends who enjoyed dining at the restaurant. He & Karla also purchased a 1910 building and with the help of Weston, remodeled and restored it to become Leedey Floral and Gifts.
Lionel was an avid deep sea fisherman, a collector of anything with a motor and loved to fly Remote Controlled Airplanes as his hobbies, but, his greatest enjoyment in life was his wife, Karla, his family and the life they shared together. He also loved building things and watching them grow. He leaves a lifetime of businesses, and loved ones to carry on his legacy. He was a brilliant mind, a compassionate spirit and loving heart. He was Karla’s hero. He was loved! Lionel was a true mensch! Lionel was preceded in death by his Parents, Sadye and Sol Forbert, Infant son David Forbert, and is survived by his loving wife Karla Rounds Forbert, her sons Lincoln Ross Leatherman, and wife Rebekah, and J. Weston Leatherman. He is also survived by his daughter Sarah Ann Forbert Watson, her daughters, Chelsea Julia Morgan, her husband Aaron Morgan and their two daughters Kayla and Mackenzi Morgan, and Madison Nicole Vermillion, her two sons Landon Moore and Mason Moore. His daughter Rachel Forbert Acree and her daughters Sophia Grace Galloway and Emily Eden Galloway. Lionel also, leaves a host of friends. Services were held Monday October 10, 2016 at 10:30 am at the First Baptist Church in Leedey, OK with burial following at Center Point Cemetery, Leedey, OK. Condolences may be made to the family at www.shawfuneralhome.net. Shaw Funeral Home at Leedey