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Earl W. Fortner

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Earl W. Fortner Obituary
Earl W. Fortner

Rutledge, TN

Master Sergeant Earl W. Fortner - age 86, passed away on Tuesday, August 7, 2018. Earl was born in the Springdale Community of Claiborne County. When he was twelve years old, his family moved to the Buffalo Community of Grainger County near Rutledge. He graduated from Rutledge High School where he played basketball four years and met the love of his life, Shirley James. They married in 1955 and celebrated nearly 63 years of marriage. Earl was the first one to be saved and baptized in the new Buffalo Baptist Church building in 1952 and was a long-time member of Mount Carmel Baptist Church in Knoxville where he served in many different capacities including deacon. After high school, he enlisted in the United States Air Force, serving a year in Korea. His forty years of service as a supervisor of military police included twenty years active duty and twenty years Air National Guard. Earl was a co-founder of the East Tennessee Veterans Honor Guard, was Adjutant of the American Legion Post 119, and a member of the Shekinah Masonic Lodge No. 524 and Scottish Rite Temple. Preceded in death by his parents, Ewin and Valley Brooks Fortner; and brother, Sam. Survivors include his wife, Shirley; son, Bryon and wife Lori; two grandchildren, Abby and Wes; and several nieces, nephews and many other relatives and friends. We appreciate the excellent care given by Caris Hospice. The family will receive friends 4:00-6:00 PM Friday, August 10, 2018, at Bridges Funeral Home with the service to follow at 6:00 PM with Rev. Bryon Fortner and Rev. Chris Hutchins officiating. Family and friends will meet 10:45 AM on Saturday at Eastview Memorial Gardens for an 11:00 AM graveside service. Pallbearers: Leon Fortner, Mike Fortner, Heath Holt, Richard McElhaney, Mark James, and Jim James. Honorary pallbearers: East TN Veteran Honor Guard. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Mount Carmel Baptist Church, 6915 N. Ruggles Ferry Road, Knoxville, TN 37924. Arrangements by Bridges Funeral Home, 5430 Rutledge Pike, 865-523-4999. www.bridgesfuneralhome.com
Published in Knoxville News Sentinel from Aug. 9 to Aug. 10, 2018
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