Obituary of Charlie Fortner
(November 24, 1946-August 29, 2019)
Passionate, devoted and opinionated are some of the adjectives that come to mind when trying to grasp Charlie Fortner. His deep unshakeable love, of over 50 years, for his wife Cathy stands out to anyone who has ever known him. His children would agree, that even as he drove them crazy with his unyielding opinions, they always knew he had their backs through thick and thin. They would often refer to him as, Superman, so legendary were his physical strengths and abilities.
Charlie Fortner was born in Livermore, Kentucky. He was the son of Abe and Flo Fortner and the younger brother of Ed and Lagretta. His young life was spent living at Army bases around the country, until the Fortner family settled in Grass Valley. He graduated from Nevada Union in 1964. Many of his friends to this day were from his days on the NU wrestling team. After graduation he went into the Army, joining the 101st Airborne and completing three tours in Vietnam.
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Cathy (Cox) and Charlie did some travelling before settling down to raise their five girls: Sherry, Sheila (Dominguez), Ruby, Cheyenne (Plunkett), Chaszra (Echols) and son Randy. Charlie and Cathy were later blessed with sixteen grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Following a 20+ year career as a local contractor, Charlie turned to painting and writing. Initially spurred to retell memories of his Vietnam experience, he toured with his self-published book, Ghost of the Nam. He continued to paint and write, covering topics from creation to war. Some of his greatest artistic works can be seen in the home he lived in and built, initially for his parents. His art and writing has touched the hearts of countless people, most notably other vets and their families. His involvement in the Fortner Family Daycare made him an honorary parent to many local folks, who now have children of their own. He will live on in our hearts and through his art.
A memorial in honor of Charlie will be held on Sunday, Sept. 15th from 1:00pm – 5:00pm at the Golden Empire Grange Hall.
Donations in Charlie’s memory can be made to Hospice of the Foothills and The ALS Association (www.alsa.org)
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