In memory of

Elaine M. Forrest, age 75 of Helena

January 21, 1942 – September 18, 2017

Elaine Mary Forrest, 75, of Helena, MT, died peacefully on Monday, September 18, 2017, surrounded by family members at St Peter’s Hospital.

Elaine was born on January 21, 1942, in Sacramento, CA to Charles and Helen Forrest.  She grew up in Boise, attending schools there, graduating from Boise High School, in 1960.   She moved on to Boise Junior College, graduating in 1962, and earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Oregon in 1964

Elaine moved to San Francisco, in 1965, and joined the San Francisco Unified School District, in 1967.  During her time there, she worked in four schools: Burbank Junior High, Everett Middle School, Galileo High School, and finally at Mc Ateer High School for thirteen years.   In 1990, Elaine was selected for the Urban Leadership Institute, at San Francisco State University, earning a Master of Arts in Library and Information Science, in 1991.

Elaine met her husband, Karl Ohlendorf, while working in the SFSD and they were married, in June of 1981, in Carson City, NV.  Shortly after receiving her Master’s degree, she and Karl moved to Montana, where she continued her career in education.   She worked in Lodge Grass, Lame Deer, and Wolf Point, retiring in 2009, from her role as Superintendent for the Sun River Valley District.

Upon retirement, Elaine became actively involved with the Helena Indian Alliance and held various positions within the organization from 2009-2014, including serving on the Board.   Elaine enjoyed knitting and spending time with her various knitting groups. She enjoyed water aerobics and the friends she met at the Broadwater pool.  Elaine was an avid reader, tended to her garden, and cared for her dog, Abby Rose.

Elaine is preceded in death by husband, Karl Ohlendorf; parents, Charles and Helen Forrest; and sisters, Diane and Gale.   She is survived by her son, Vincent Paul (Karen) Briggs, of Wellesley, MA; stepchildren, Ronald Peter Ohlendorf, of Portland, OR, Randall (Marilee) Ohlendorf, of Newcastle, WA; daughter, Karla Frahler, of Portland, OR; grandchildren, Spencer and Garrett Briggs of Wellesley, MA; step grandchildren: Kate (Drew) Blanchette, of Portland, OR, Kurt (Noelle) Ohlendorf, of Seattle, WA, Kirsten Ohlendorf, of Newcastle, WA; great-grandchildren, Henry Blanchette of Portland OR, and Patrick Ohlendorf of Seattle, WA, and several close cousins and other relatives.

Memorials in Elaine’s name are suggested to Helena MSPCA.


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  1. Dorothy Oliveira6 says:

    I will always remember our friendship which came about during water aerobics. I would have enjoyed having Elaine as my principal when I was teaching. Condolences to her family. She loved reporting on her grandsons. .

  2. Marjorie MCNellis says:

    Elaine was a member of the Sunday and Tuesday Knitting group. She was a very intelligent insightful friend. I shall miss her and her stories about her son and family.

  3. TOM & BARB O'CONNELL says:


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