Possible changes to service times: Because of concerns over the novel coronavirus, events like visitations and services may be rescheduled or canceled. Please check with the funeral home or church before leaving to attend an event.


Looking for a particular obituary?

Obits submitted to The Gazette are published online and in the newspaper the next day.

C. Forrest Tomes All Obituaries

C. FORREST TOMES Cedar Rapids C. Forrest Tomes, 79, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, passed peacefully at home on Monday, Aug. 3, 2020, surrounded by his loving family. As was his wish, Forrest donated his body to the University of Iowa to help advance scientific education. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, no gathering is planned. Please share memories of Forrest virtually at www.murdochfuneralhome. com. Forrest was born June 20, 1941, in Richmond, Va., to Charles Francis and Kathryn Elfreida (Spiers) Tomes. Following high school in Richmond he pursued a passion for math and science at MIT, where he majored in nuclear physics and electrical engineering. He performed post-graduate thermonuclear process research as an operations engineer at the Cambridge Electron Accelerator, a joint Harvard-MIT high-energy physics facility. Forrest earned graduate degrees from Boston University (Physics and Quantum Theory) and Northeastern University (MBA). Forrest worked for Honeywell Information Systems from 1967 until his 1974 move to Rockwell International to manage test equipment operations in Collins Commercial Avionics. Forrest led the development of innovative automatic test equipment systems, processes and standards to improve performance and reliability of flight-critical systems. His colleagues remember him as a brilliant engineer who always could find a solution to technical challenges while being easygoing, patient and kind, with a great sense of humor. An early pioneer of integrating software engineering with hardware manufacturing, Forrest developed automatic test systems used in Collins production facilities and at service centers across the globe. His unique combination of technical and business acumen was recognized across the international avionics community, especially among engineers who respected the quality, accuracy and reliability of the systems he was responsible for developing. Boeing, Lockheed, Fokker and other airplane manufacturers recognized Forrest for developing industry-leading automated test equipment systems and his testing "philosophy" was adopted as a standard practice by commercial aviation companies. He worked for Rockwell Collins as a program manager and engineer until his retirement in 1999. Forrest and Bunnie met on a blind date in their freshman year, and were married in Maynard, Mass., in 1963. He is survived by his wife, Bunnie (Alexandra); sons, Charles (Cynthia Hames) Tomes of North Liberty, Iowa, and Dr. Robert (Susan Holley) Tomes of McLean, Va.; grandchild, Alex Tomes; brother, Edward (Nancy) Tomes; nephew, Nathan (Christy) Tomes; niece, Lauren Tomes, all of North Carolina; sisters-in-law, Paula (Glen) Terrill of Massachusetts and Lydia (Bill Rambo) Engelhardt of South Carolina; as well as many nieces, nephews and extended family members. He was preceded in death by his parents. After retirement, he joined the Cedar Amateur Astronomers, where he served as the fundraising treasurer and principal in the construction of the Eastern Iowa Observatory. His many volunteer hours on the project were recognized by Presidential and Governor's Awards, and the facility and programs earned an Outstanding Support Organization Award from the National Association of County Park and Recreation officials in 2008. His lifetime of community and volunteer service included leadership of a Jaycees chapter, finance and audit service at Westminster Presbyterian Church, and service to PTAs, The Boy Scouts of America, the Soap Box Derby Association, the Cedar Rapids Symphony and Red Cedar Chamber Music. He worked the sidelines at UNI home football games as a member of the "Volunteer Chain Gang." Forrest also was an accomplished photographer and enjoyed woodworking. He enjoyed travel greatly, especially the "road trips" to the East and West coasts, and was noted for his collection of hat pins from his worldwide travels. He'd visited most of the continents and all but two of the 50 states. He especially enjoyed working with his sons and family on "house" projects and trips that included Alex. He is remembered for his unswerving integrity and kindness, rarely losing his temper, and positive outlook. Donations may be made to Cedar Amateur Astronomers, the Eastern Iowa Observatory, P.O. Box 10786, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401.

Buy flowers
Share a memory of