Crosby Carroll Forrest, owner of high-profile dealership Dixie RV Superstore, passed away in his hometown of Poquoson, Va., on Jan. 5. He was 74.
Forrest founded Dixie Trailer Sales in 1966 in Newport News, Va., which later changed its name to Dixie RV Superstore. He was involved with all aspects of the dealership up until his death. He enjoyed seeing his family work together and having the same passion for the industry he loved. Forrest always stated the formula for success at Dixie RV Superstore was the employees.
Forrest was a 50-year member, and key in the creation and development of the Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), including serving as chairman, vice president, treasurer, and currently as a board member.
“Crosby was instrumental in bringing dealers across the country together to form RVDA,” said RVDA President Phil Ingrassia. “He was a driving force for professionalism in RV retailing and was recognized by his peers many times for his service to the RV industry. The industry has lost a legend.”
He has been recognized with numerous industry awards, including the James B. Summers Award – RVDA’s highest honor – Coast Largest Mid-Atlantic Distribution Top Dealer Award, Monaco Coach Top Dealer Award and Better Business Bureau Top Business Award, and was inducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame in 2006. Dixie RV Superstore also earned an RVBusiness Top 50 Dealer Award in 2008 and 2009 and was named as a Blue Ribbon dealer in 2010. Forrest also was honored with the Altman Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010.
Forrest was preceded in death by his parents, Margaret Carmine and Coston “Bear” Forrest Sr.; granddaughter, Brittany Nicole Dalheim; brother, Coston Forrest Jr.; maternal grandparents, Maggie and Floyd Rollins; paternal grandparents, Martha “Baby Sis” & Crosby Forrest Sr.; and his beloved canine companion, Teensie.
Forrest is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Mary Virginia Forrest; daughter, Virginia Lynne Forrest Dalheim and husband Dennis Jr.; son, Crosby Layne Forrest and wife Elizabeth Katherine; grandchildren, Dennis Paul “Trey” Dalheim III, Jacob Charles Forrest, Ryan Wallace Forrest, Ella Claire Forrest, Olivia Grace Forrest, Sadie Elizabeth Forrest, and Graysen “Little Mary” Forrest; and numerous extended family and good friends.
The family will receive friends Friday (Jan. 13) from 7-8:30 p.m. at Claytor Rollins Funeral Home, Poquoson. A celebration of a true southern gentleman will be held Saturday at 2 p.m. at Emmaus Baptist Church, led by Pastor Dan Cromer. Interment will follow at Weston Cemetery, Poquoson. Following interment, all are welcome to a reception at the Poquoson Yacht Club, 417 Messick Road, Poquoson.