J. W. Fortner

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J.W. Fortner, born July 22, 1928, passed away on October 30, 2013, at the age of 85 after a brief illness. J.W. was born in Lula, Oklahoma to Thomas and Ruby Brooks Fortner. He was raised by his grandparents, Mary and J.M. Brooks. Attending Lula Consolidated High School with only 12 students in his class, he went on to graduate from the University of Oklahoma in 1950 with a BS in Business. Following his graduation from OU, he enlisted in the United States Air Force as the postwar occupations and the Korean War began. J.W. and Dorothy Lee Compton married September 23, 1950. Immediately following their marriage, the US Air Force sent him to Ramstein-Landstuhl Air Base in Wiesbaden, Germany where he was responsible for monitoring all fuel use and distribution for American troops in the European Theater and North Africa.

After the military, he began his business career with Commercial Finance Company in San Antonio. He found his mission in life as the first Business Administrator of Trinity Baptist Church from 1961 until his retirement in 2000. He served in many organizations as a Christian financial leader including President of the National Association of Church Business Administrators and Life Deacon at Trinity Baptist Church.

After retiring, he devoted all of his time and attention to Dorothy and his grandchildren. J.W. loved to spend time at "the farm" driving the bobcat, feeding the cows, and working in his garden. J.W. and Dorothy spent many afternoons just driving out to the farm to sit in the sunshine.

J.W. is preceded in death by his grandparents, his parents, and his brother, Halloway Fortner.

J.W. is survived by his loving wife and companion of 63 years, Dorothy Compton Fortner; daughter, Jan Fortner Cohen and husband, Allen; son, Kent Fortner and wife, Beverly. He is also survived by grandchildren; Stephen Monroe and his wife Michelle; Jay, and his wife, Amanda; Allison Cohen, and Matt and Clay Fortner; his great grandchildren; Abby and Noah Cohen; his brother, Paul Fortner, and sister, Betty Fortner Crisp, both of Oklahoma; and many nieces and nephews.

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Published in Express-News on Nov. 1, 2013
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