Michelle LaMay Forgash of Leesburg, Virginia passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on February 18, at 4:35pm after a long battle with colon cancer. She was 48 years old.
Michelle Juanita LaMay was born in Washington D.C. and grew up in nearby Arlington, Virginia. She attended Barcroft Elementary School and H-B Woodlawn Secondary School where she forged lasting friendships. After graduating high school in 1989, Michelle attended Virginia Tech and pursued a degree in Psychology with a focus on Family and Child Development.
It was at Virginia Tech that she would meet her eventual husband, Craig Allen Forgash from Alexandria, Virginia. Michelle graduated in 1994, and she and Craig married in November, 1995. Michelle and Craig moved around the country several times over the next four years, supporting Craig’s career in the golf business. Michelle absolutely loved children, and during these years she found work in daycare centers along with independent nanny work. In 1999, while living outside of Atlanta, Georgia, the couple became pregnant with their first child.
Michelle’s life changed forever as Christopher Allen was born in September of that year. The family moved to Hawai’i soon after Chris was born, and their second child, Ashlyn Malia was born the day before Michelle’s 30th birthday in 2001 in the city of Kapolei on the island of O’ahu. After moving back to the mainland later that year, Michelle and Craig settled in Tempe, Arizona. Their third child, son Nicholas Allen was born in June, 2004 in Mesa, Arizona, and shortly thereafter, the family relocated back to Georgia where they would spend the next six years. Michelle was a beloved caregiver to both family and friends, giving selflessly of her time and energy, oftentimes helping to raise other children while she was raising her own. She built lasting relationships in every neighborhood where the family resided, and the bonds she built in the Georgian community outside of Atlanta would develop into some of the strongest friendships of her life.
When the family moved back home to Virginia in 2010, she rededicated herself to her career, eventually becoming a teacher in Loudoun County for Pre-K children on the autism spectrum. Michelle had the unique gift of connecting with children, especially those with special needs. In January of 2017, Michelle was diagnosed with Stage 3 colorectal cancer. She embraced her battle and publicly kept everyone updated after a friend created Michelle’s Mighty Army Facebook page. After over a year of being cancer free, Michelle’s cancer returned in 2019, only this time it had spread to her liver, lungs and abdomen. Again, she faced the challenge with grace and a level of positivity that buoyed the spirits of everyone around her. Michelle’s courageous battle has ended, but her spirit lives on in her husband and three children.
She is also survived by her parents, George and Jean LaMay, brother George and sister-in-law Hillary LaMay, sister Andrea Irvine, brother Sean Phillips, brother-in-law Mark Forgash and wife Lisa O’Rourke, and mother-in-law Judy Moreland . She will also be forever remembered by numerous extended family members and everyone she has touched over a lifetime.
A Visitation will be held at Loudoun Funeral Chapel in Leesburg, Virginia on Thursday, March 5th from 5:00-8:00PM. The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 2:00PM on Friday, March 6th at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church in Leesburg. A reception will immediately follow the Mass at Stone Tower Winery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any donations be made to the Autism Society of Northern Virginia or a worthy charity of choice in Michelle’s honor. Online condolences may be expressed at www.loudounfuneralchapel.com