James "J. R. " Rufus Fortner, 80, of Newbern, Tennessee died on Saturday, April 3, 2021, at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital in Jackson, Tennessee.
Born Wednesday, August 28, 1940 in Greenville, South Carolina, he was the son of the late James Levi Fortner and the late Clara Bryant Fortner. Mr. Fortner lived in Dyersburg and Memphis most of his young life. He joined the United States Air Force in July, 1958, spending eight years and nine months as an Air Policeman serving in Mississippi, Texas, Libea, Nebraska and Vietnam. Later he repaired TV's, opening his own shop in Pisgah, Iowa. Upon his return to Newbern he learned welding,
Funeral services for Mr. Fortner will be held at 1:00 PM on Friday, April 9, 2021 in the Chapel of Johnson-Williams Funeral Home. Officiating this service will be Pastor Milt Duntley. Interment will follow in Church Grove Cemetery in Newbern, Tennessee. Visitation will be held from 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM on Thursday, April 8, 2021 at Johnson-Williams Funeral Home.
He leaves to cherish his memory, his wife of fifty-seven years, Barbara Tunnell Fortner of Newbern,Tennessee; three daughters, Betty Bennett (Jim) of Woodbine, Iowa, Venessa Herring (Richie) of St. Petersburg, Florida and Ivy McGreger of Gibson, Tennessee; one son, James Marion Fortner (Tammy) of Boonville, Missouri; special daughter friend, Nancy Agrestra (Tony) of Dyersburg, Tennessee; twelve grandchildren; thirteen great-grandchildren; one sister, Francis Clark of Dyersburg, Tennessee; two brothers, Charles Fortner and Richard Fortner both of Dyersburg, Tennessee; two sisters-in-laws, Wanda Moores (Kenny) of Woodbine, Iowa and Jeri Lou Burger (Steve) of Evansville, Indiana.
In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by one brother, Elvis L. Fortner.
Honoring Mr. Fortner as pallbearers will be his cousins.
Online condolences may be made to the family at johnson-williamsfuneralhome.com. Johnson-Williams Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of James "J. R." Fortner
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