She was the first woman physician to open an OB/GYN practice in Newport News, but friends say she cared more about serving others than basting in her own milestones.

"She never said, 'I did this,' or 'I'm wonderful,' " said Steven Kast, president and CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Virginia Peninsula. "It was always everyone else."

Forbes was killed in a car crash Friday on U.S. 158 in Coinjock, about 20 miles north of Kitty Hawk, N.C. Her vehicle struck the back of a farm tractor that was traveling at a slower speed, according to state police. She was 85.

Forbes was also known as a philanthropist who supported various institutions, including The Mariners' Museum, Christopher Newport University and Boys and Girls Clubs of the Virginia Peninsula.

"She was just a tireless advocate for children," Kast said. "On the surface, you can see things she did. She was very generous."

But Kast said it was the small things that Forbes did that distinguished her from a typical board member.

"We would have a girl in trouble and she would counsel them one on one," he said. "She would follow up day after day."

Forbes was also a very successful real-estate developer.

"She was very tough, very smart, but honest," said longtime friend Dr. Helmuth Trieshmann. "If she made a deal, she stood by it."

Forbes' memorial service will be Wednesday at 3 p.m. at the Music and Theater Hall at the Ferguson Center at CNU.

"There will never be another Dr. Sarah Forbes," Kast said. "She spent her life helping other people and building people up."