It is with extreme sorrow that Cloud Funeral Home ; alongside this loving Fortner Family, to announce to all that their beloved: Mr. Jimmy Fortner transitioned peacefully from this life on Thursday, August 22, 2019.
All About Jimmy Fortner
It was on a calm, yet hot summer day in July, the 23rd day in the year of 1945 that an amazing bouncing baby boy was born. His parents, Howard and Vera Fortner felt Jimmy was the perfect name for their precious bundle of joy. Jimmy Fortner was number two of six children from the union of his parents. As a young child Jimmy Fortner attended Whigham Elementary School until difficult times forced him to quit school and go to work and help provide for his family. In this era of time such act was very common, whereas many other families experienced the same depression. Because of Jimmy’s obedience to his father, he did as he was told, willingly and ready to do whatever it took to help his family to survive.
At the young age of nineteen, Jimmy Fortner united with his best friend, his soul mate, the apple of his eye, Mrs. Costella Gibson Fortner. The two of them truly displayed what true love really meant. After joining in Holy Matrimony, the two of them proudly produced seven children, Namely, Jimmy Fortner Jr. (Teresa), Gregory Fortner Sr. (Patricia), Jeffery Fortner (Kimberly), Reginald Fortner (Alinda), Telly Fortner, Christopher Fortner, and Cassandra Fortner. Jimmy was proud of his rather large family, but realized they loved to eat, and his wife “Fats”, as he called her, loved to cook. Being a provider was already deeply rooted within him, thanks to his father. Jimmy did just that, provided successfully for his wife and children. Often working multiple jobs at one time. Jimmy was employed by Whitfield Metal works, Seminole Marine, and countless hours seven days a week at Roddenberry. It was at Roddenberry he was employed the longest, Jimmy dedicated 37 long years of services to this employee. Free time you ask, “Big Jim” as he was nick named as a young man, had very little to no “free time”. When he wasn’t clocked in at Roddenberry, he was out in the yard welding for family and friend. Just as he had a passion for working, he also had just as much passion and dedication for going to church. As a young adult Mr. Jimmy Fortner joined St. Mary. A.M.E Church, where he served as a Brother faithfully for most of his life until his health failed him.
Jimmy “Big Jim” Fortner was an outstanding individual, quick to give, slow to take, and he did not know how to use the word “No”. He wore a smile, told the funniest jokes despite his how he felt inside. Often times in severe pain, he cared to see others smiling and laughing at is ridiculous funny jokes. He complained very little and prayed a lot. He will be truly missed, he leaves behind to cherish his loving memories, His wife Mrs. Costella Gibson Fortner of almost 55 years, Six Children, 22 Grandchildren, 7 Great Grandchildren, His Brother John Fortner, Sister Amina MuHammad, Mother-in-law Mrs. Annie P. Gibson, Two Sister-in-laws, Elder Emma Fortner and Jackie Issacs, Three Brother-in-laws Charles (Ludie) Gibson, Kenny (Gwen) Gibson, and George H. Gibson. Godson's Jerry Russell and Bruce Gurley and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and close friends. Although we all are sadden of losing such great man, we can rest knowing he will not be alone. Waiting to accompany him at the gates will be his parents Howard and Vera Fortner, his baby girl Cassandra J. Fortner, his Uncle George, and three brothers, Ted, Curley, and Wallace Fortner.
Jimmy “Big Jim” Fortner, has a message for each of you, Don’t cry for me, see God saw me getting tired and a cure was not to be, So he put his loving arms around me and He whispered softly, “my child come to me”. A golden heart stopped beating, hardworking hands put to rest. God broke your hearts to prove he only takes the very best. I’m at peace now, my soul’s at rest, there is no need for tears for with you love I was truly blessed.