Late Resident Kim Forte Continues to Bring Community Together
The 4th Annual WOW 5K Run for Wilmington/Kim Forte Walk is scheduled for April 27.
If you live or work in Wilmington, chances are you knew Kim Forte's familiar wave and smile.
Through her daily walks, bike rides, and neighborly interactions, Kim Forte wove threads, thousands of threads, that bind us together today. We recognize Kim, not because she was a politician, or an entertainer, but because she was an ordinary citizen, one of us.
With her contagious smile and greeting, her consistent caring, and her extraordinary ability to inspire, Kim used her unique gift of connecting to share her heart with us. We honor her on April 27, 2014 at the 4th Annual WOW 5K Run for Wilmington/Kim Forte Walk.
Kim earned her stripes for compassion very early in life at her East Boston childhood home. Amazingly, Kim was raised by two blind loving parents who met at the Perkins School for the Blind.
The middle child in her family of five, Kim's concern for her parents and siblings formed the foundation for her deep ability to give. At fifteen, while in high school she met Lou, her husband, and they built a happy life together for themselves and their son, Tim, in Wilmington.
Lou recalls Kim's yearbook quote, "it's nice to be important, but more important to be nice" as the true meaning behind how she lived her life and the strong community relationships that were so fulfilling for her.
Influenced by her mother's genuine manner of giving love and understanding, Kim empathized deeply with others. A high school teacher also taught her to look deeply at herself and see how she could help someone else, which Kim embraced, celebrating living through her limitless ability to give.
How many of us wake each morning with the mission of helping people, every single day? Kim did.
She felt it was a priority to know and help people in Wilmington. Her deeds included helping seniors rake lawns and shovel snow. Her daily actions became a lesson for Lou, whom she frequently told, "don't let the world change your smile, change the world with your smile."
Something so simple gave Kim deep satisfaction and a command of her life. We were the lucky recipients of that big warm smile.
An angel of energy, Kim was as busy as all of us with her work, home, family, her love of the gym and her plan to attend graduate school and she used these activities to help others.
As a math professor at Middlesex Community College, Kim took students under her wing and taught them to overcome their challenges.
"The day you are born, the day you die, it is all written in the book," Lou's mom says.
As we struggle to make sense of our loss of Kim and the goodness she bestowed on us, Lou asks "for people to be like Kim and walk in her footsteps."
Her family keeps her memory alive through the Miles of Smiles Scholarship at Middlesex College.
Years ago, as an anniversary gift, Lou tried hard to give Kim a replacement diamond. After numerous refusals for the grander ring, Kim just sat down and cried. Asked what was so wrong, Kim replied, "I don't want a ring, all I really want is a hug."
This shows the quality of Kim's clean heart and what was truly important to her. Let us remember her today in our hearts as we come together to celebrate her life, generosity, and kind spirit.