SURRY COUNTY, N.C. -- A long-time friend of Andy Griffith died Saturday morning at the Joan and Howard Woltz Hospice Home in Dobson, according to the Mount Airy News.
The paper reported that Emmett Forrest was 85. He had reportedly been moved to the home just days ago after suffering an illness.
Friends said Forrest devoted much of his time to preserving Griffith’s memory by donating to the Andy Griffith Museum.
They said he was also well-known for contributing to the Surry Arts Council and local economic development efforts.
Tanya Jones, director of the Surry Arts Council, was friends with Forrest and said she was stunned to hear the news.
“Emmett was absolutely wonderful,” she told the paper. “He was my best and most trusted friend, but more than that he was someone I totally trusted.”
The Forrest family will receive friends at the Moody Funeral Home of Mount Airy from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday. Funeral services take place at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Grace Moravian Church.
Andy Griffith died of a heart attack at age 86 on July 3, 2012. The Mount Airy native was known internationally for his work in TV, film and music.
Read more: The Mount Airy News.