Forrest Lance Plesko
Forrest Lance Plesko, formerly of Superior, passed away peacefully in his home on June 30, 2020. He was 74.
Forrest was born in 1945 and grew up in the Village of Oliver. His father, Vince, worked in the die room at the steel plant and his mother, Fran, was a homemaker. From an early age Forrest loved to draw and paint. His parents encouraged him in these pursuits and, by seventeen, he had published his first cartoon in the Superior Evening Telegram . He also began playing drums in high school bands.
Forrest began college at the University of Wisconsin, Superior, where he studied fine art. There he reconnected with Susie Wittkopf whom he had known from high school. Forrest earned a living by playing drums six nights a week with various bands in Superior and Duluth. In 1968 Forrest and Susie married. Shortly thereafter they packed all their possessions into a Chevy Nova station wagon and moved to southern California. There, they both enrolled at California State University Long Beach. Forrest earned a BA in Fine Art in 1972, and was offered a Graduate Assistantship at UWS to earn a MA in Fine Art, which he completed in 1974.
Although a respected fine artist, Forrest loved cartoons. In the early 1970s, Forrest began drawing cartoons full time as a freelance cartoonist. For the next twenty years, Forrest’s cartoons appeared regularly in national publications such as The Saturday Evening Post , Esquire , Reader’s Digest , TV Guide , Good Housekeeping , Omni , The National Enquirer , and many others. He also illustrated, at the request of FEMA, a book on earthquake preparedness for children living in earthquake-prone areas. The book is still available today. After a successful freelance career, Forrest transitioned to teaching. Prior to his retirement, he taught drawing and painting at Mount San Jacinto College in San Jacinto, California.
In recent years, Forrest pursued oil painting. Forrest’s style could be described as interpretive realism. He showed his work at many juried Colorado art shows and received several awards. Forrest’s work can be found in the permanent collections of The City of Littleton, The Littleton Museum, The Bemis Library, Mount San Jacinto College, University of Wisconsin Superior Kruk Gallery, and in the homes of many buyers. Some of Forrest’s work may still be seen on his website, www.forrestplesko.com.
Forrest loved to travel. Together with Susie he visited forty-nine states, and explored Japan, Egypt, Italy, Greece, England, Germany, Austria, Belgium, France, Ireland, The Netherlands, Croatia, Spain, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden, Mexico, and Canada. Forrest and Susie were often accompanied by their son and daughter-in-law. In 2014, Forrest and his son visited the village in Croatia where Forrest’s grandfather was raised. While there they visited the home of a distant relative which Forrest found very special.
Forrest was preceded in death by his beloved wife Susie. He is survived by his son Forrest Vincent, daughter-in-law Meghan, and grandchildren Alexander and Leah of Castle Pines, Colorado, nephew Scott Jezierski (Sandra Merritt) of Duluth, and many nephews, nieces, cousins, in-laws, and friends throughout the country. Due to the pandemic, a celebration of life will not be held until next year. In lieu of flowers, a donation to the Littleton Fine Arts Guild would be appreciated.