James Harold Fortenberry, 87 of Jacksonville, Florida passed away peacefully on November 9, 2020 while in the care of Community Hospice St. Vincent's Riverside. He was born on August 21, 1933 in Daytona Beach, Florida to William and Ava Fortenberry. He graduated from Andrew Jackson High School (Jacksonville, Florida) in 1951. He continued his education by receiving a bachelor's degree from Jacksonville University and a master's degree from the University of North Florida. After high school he enlisted in the United States Army and served his country proudly through active duty and reserves. He retired after 20 years as a Lt. Colonel. He also worked for the Jacksonville Electric Authority and retired after 20 years. He was also a part time adjunct professor at the University of North Florida. He loved to be outdoors to garden and grow plants. He had such a green thumb. He was a long-time member of the Men's Garden Club and loved to work at the fair to raise money selling their plants. During his lifetime he was part of many organizations. He loved to give back to others and the community. One of them that was so dear to him was being the Executive Director of the Suicide Prevention Center. This was a nonprofit agency that provided volunteers to work the phone hotlines and run support groups for survivors of suicide. He was part of a very close-knit alumni group from Andrew Jackson High School and they met monthly for dinners and lunches. He was very active at the Chapel at Naval Air Station. His deep faith was very important to him and he attended chapel weekly. James is predeceased by this parents William and Ava Fortenberry, a brother William Fortenberry a sister Margaret Mann and his high school sweetheart and love of his life Joan Gledhill. James is survived by his daughter Karen (Chris) Sheard, his two grandsons Richard James Sheard, John William Sheard and his precious great granddaughter Rose Marie Sheard. He has many nephews and nieces that are very close to him and loved him dearly. We were all so fortunate to have such a close and loving family. Services will be held on Monday, December 7, 2020 at 2:00pm at Jacksonville National Cemetery, 4083 Lannie Road, Jacksonville, Florida 32218. Please visit www.hardagegiddensoaklawnchapel.com
to leave words of comfort for the family. Arrangements under the care and direction of Hardage-Giddens Oaklawn Chapel, 4801 San Jose Boulevard, Jacksonville, FL 32207, (904)-737-7171.
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