Mt. Airy, NC -- The man responsible for preserving actor Andy Griffith's memory in Mount Airy died early Saturday morning.
Mt. Airy News reports Emmett Forrest died in a hospice home in Dobson with an "extended illness."
Forrest persuaded his friend to donate many items he saved from the Andy Griffith Show to the museum named after the North Carolina native. The museum brought tourists from all over the nation to Surry County.
Forrest also shared several memories about Griffith when WFMY News 2 broke the story about the actor's death last July.
Full Coverage: Andy Griffith 1926-2012
The Mt. Airy newspaper says his funeral is Tuesday at Grace Moravian Church in Mt. Airy at 2 p.m.
Friends can visit the Forrest family at the Moody Funeral Home Monday night from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Forrest was 85 years old.
Read Emmett Forrest's obituary from the Moody Funeral Home's website.
Mt. Airy News