Valley man: Oregon shooting victim was 'bigger than life'

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by Jason Volentine

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonvolentine

azfamily.com

Posted on December 14, 2012 at 9:54 AM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 18 at 4:07 PM

PHOENIX -- Details are emerging about the the two victims killed in the Tuesday shooting at Clackamas Mall outside Portland, Ore. 

Family members of 54-year-old victim Cindy Ann Yuille are remembering her as a caring person who put others first. The other victim was 45-year-old Steve Forsyth, a father of two who coached youth sports teams.

One of Forsyth's lifelong friends now lives in the Valley and shared his fond memories of a man he said did everything for others.

"There is probably nobody that had the impact that he had on my life, I mean nobody," said Kevin Murawski, who met Forsyth when the two were in kindergarten. Murawski said the two remained close friends as adults despite living in different states.

"He was a tremendous, bigger-than-life guy," Murawski said.

Forsyth's life was violently cut short when 22-year-old Jacob Tyler Roberts opened fire Tuesday. 

"There will be a hole in my heart for the rest of my life," Murawski said.

While it's hard to know exactly what Forsyth was doing when the gunman's bullet took his life inside Clackamas Mall, Murawski said Forsyth was the kind of person who would have wanted to be exactly where he was.

"The facts don't bare this out, but my initial thought was [Steve] either died protecting somebody or going after the gunman," said Murawski, adding that Forsyth was a black belt in the martial art discipline of Kempo.

Forsyth was a father of two and a dedicated son. He was helping his own dad start a drink coaster business. The business was part of the reason he was in the mall the day of the shooting.

"He was actually on the phone, apparently, with his dad when he was shot," Murawski said. "His wife and daughter were in Macy's at the time."

Forsyth leaves behind his wife, middle-school-aged son and a daughter who just started college.  Murawski still remembers the day Forsyth called to deliver the news that his wife was pregnant with the couple's son.

"Thrilled," Murawski said. "He was one happy guy. He was the proverbial father with the cigars. He was just that kind of guy."

He was also the kind of guy, according to Murawski, who many will miss.

"He was a hell of a guy," Murawski said. "He was one of those guys you never forget."

A community group in Forsyth's town of West Linn has organized a benefit fund to help his family in their time of tragedy. Anyone wishing to donate can give to The Forsyth Family Assistance Fund at Pacific West Bank in West Linn, Ore. The bank can be reached at 503-905-2222.

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