JAMES FORTNER Obituary

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In Memory of

JAMES H FORTNER

April 8, 1925 - March 19, 2014
Obituary

Fortner, James H. 1925 - 2014 With friends and family by his side, "Jim", a big man with a big voice and an even bigger heart, entered eternal life on March 19, 2014. We were blessed to learn valuable lessons from Jim during his 88 years, among them: hug often, sing loud, laugh much, cherish your wife, smile at every person you greet, use lots of mustard, choose to see the best in everyone, use a pencil, volunteer often, respect your parents, ham it up, always have a hankie to share, tell people how proud you are of them, be a "good egg", only bring one suitcase when traveling abroad, make sausage, honey, homemade biscuits and...
Fortner, James H. 1925 - 2014

With friends and family by his side, "Jim", a big man with a big voice and an even bigger heart, entered eternal life on March 19, 2014. We were blessed to learn valuable lessons from Jim during his 88 years, among them: hug often, sing loud, laugh much, cherish your wife, smile at every person you greet, use lots of mustard, choose to see the best in everyone, use a pencil, volunteer often, respect your parents, ham it up, always have a hankie to share, tell people how proud you are of them, be a "good egg", only bring one suitcase when traveling abroad, make sausage, honey, homemade biscuits and marmalade for those you love, build a playhouse for your granddaughters, when reciting - do it with pleasure, serve food to the homeless, only watch movies with happy endings, support education, look for prospective friends everywhere, nothing is worse than a lead balloon, study the scriptures and enjoy church, walking dogs is an opportunity to tip your hat, enjoy a good puzzle, say "ho, ho, ho" with gusto, honor the military, gardening is food for the soul, make a compost pile, give a wheelbarrow ride, you can never have enough hats, sing love songs to your wife, carry your grandkids on your shoulder and their love in your heart, delight in your daughter and love her unconditionally, be a father influence to those who are without, eat more cookies, shake hands with enthusiasm, be helpful, be kind, encourage others, love unreservedly, make people feel welcomed into your home, your family and your heart. Jim always said that he was blessed to be a blessing to others. Each time we live our life like Jim did, it's a tip of the hat to our noble teacher.

Jim was born in Wyandotte, Oklahoma, on April 8, 1925. He was the son of Celesta and James Herbert Fortner. He grew up in the friendly town of Fillmore, California surrounded by a large, loving, extended family. During WWII, his parents relocated to San Diego and both worked for aircraft companies.

Immediately after graduating from Sweetwater High School, Jim joined the Army Air Corp. After his discharge in 1945, he attended college and graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in Math and Chemistry that led to his career as a respected Mechanical Engineer.

Jim's passion for serving others was found in his smile, his friendly demeanor and his caring heart. 1958, Jim became Master of the Masonic Lodge 626 and remained an energetic member throughout his life. He was also an active member of St. Marks Lutheran Church in Chula Vista. After retirement, he dedicated himself to taking care of his aging parents.

As a volunteer, he helped cognitively challenged youngsters learn how to swim, organized food and shelter for the homeless, sang in the church choir, brought "ho, ho, ho" to others at Christmas, and provided transportation for those without. At church, he has been a welcoming usher; a church councilman and he started the Youth Puppet Program.

Jim gave unrestricted love to his family and they feel blessed by his big-heartedness. He is survived by his wife 0f 46 years, Shirley, his daughter, Suzi Ferguson and his son in law, Dave Ferguson as well as the three granddaughters and six great grandchildren whose photos and stories he would share with prospective friends in the checkout line: Jenna Lafontaine (husband Brain, daughter Gianna); Amy Smith (husband Todd, children Dylan, Brooklyn, Logan, Parker and Sydney; Heather Pond and her husband Zach. He was also survived by a beloved extended family of relations and friends from every walk of life.

Services are as follows; Thursday, March 27th, 5 - 9pm Visitation at Glen Abbey Memorial Park's Chapel of the Roses, 3838 Bonita Road Bonita, CA, 91902 (619) 498-4600; Friday, March 28th, 2pm Gravesite Services at Glen Abbey Memorial Park; Saturday, March 29th Memorial Service at St. Marks Lutheran Church, 580 Hilltop Drive, Chula Vista, California 91910 619-427-5515

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to The Wounded Warriors Project http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org or St. Mark's Lutheran Church's Music or Youth Fund.
ents under the direction of Glen Abbey Mortuary, Bonita, CA.

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San Diego Union-Tribune, The
Fortner, James CHULA VISTA -- With friends and family by his side, "Jim", a big man with a big voice and an even bigger heart, entered eternal...

Read obituary at San Diego Union-Tribune, The.

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