Gipp Forster

Gipp ForsterApril 17, 2013 — We are saddened to announce that Gipp Forster passed away Monday April 15 – his birthday – at the age of 76.  He had been suffering from cancer of the esophagus.

Gipp lived what he called a ‘multi-faceted’ life.  Born in 1937 in Ottawa, he was raised by an aunt and uncle in Greenville, South Carolina until 1944.  He journeyed back and forth between Ottawa and Greenville every summer and developed a lifelong love of travel.

An ordained pastor with the CBWC who love the poor, Gipp worked on the streets of Victoria serving people who were vulnerable and marginalized.  He helped found the Mustard Seed Church and food bank, which later gave birth to the Mustard Seed ministries in Calgary and Edmonton.

“He was helping people that nobody else would approach,” said former CFAX announcer Barry Bowman.  “He was one of the most humble, self-effacing men you’d ever meet and he was constantly surprised at attention he received…He had almost a child-like wonder of what was going on in life.”

He later became well known as a radio broadcaster, author, humorist and poet throughout Canada & the United States. His ‘Ramblings’ radio vignettes which originated on Victoria’s CFAX radio have been broadcast across North America.

Looking rather like Santa Claus and loving Christmas to the point where he played Christmas music year round and went to extraordinary lengths to decorate his home, Gipp broadcast many Christmas vignettes.  ‘It Feels Like Christmas’, a series of minute long stories about the Christmas spirit, charmed listeners in more than 75 cities each year. Some of Gipp’s Vignettes can be seen on youtube.

Gipp met his wife Donna when she volunteered at the Mustard Seed food bank.  They were married for 23 years.  She describes him as “probably the most gentle man I ever knew. He was supportive — he let me fly.”

Gipp was a member of Gateway Baptist Church in Victoria.  A memorial service is planned for Friday, April 26 at Gateway Baptist at 1:30 p.m.  Rev. Norman Archer will officiate.

Please pray for Gipp’s wife Donna, his family and friends during this time of loss.