Mr. Thomas Swain Fortner, age 72, passed away peacefully on September 25, at his home in Lake Butler, Florida. Thomas was born on January 3, 1948, in Starke, FL to the late George and Ida Mae (Ward) Fortner. He was a lifelong resident of Lake Butler and a graduate of the Union County High School class of 1966. After graduating, Thomas enlisted in the United States Army. He was a Veteran of the Vietnam War. After active duty, he continued his service with the Army Reserves retiring with the rank of Captain. He was an active member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post #153. He held a Bachelors degree in Accounting and Finance from the University of Florida, and both Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Criminal Justice from Florida International University. He was a retired Warden with the Department of Corrections and worked in numerous institutions throughout his career.
Thomas had many passions and one was sports, especially football. Thomas was very active and supportive of Union County Athletics. He was also an avid Florida Gator fan. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and brother. He loved the Lord and enjoyed going on mission trips with his church, Sardis Baptist. Thomas is preceded in death by his parents, George and Ida Mae Fortner and his brother, Sidney Fortner.
He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Patsy Fortner of Lake Butler, FL; his daughters, Tracy Fortner and Tricia Fortner Dukes, both of Lake Butler, FL; grandchildren, Ashlee Barton, Caleb (Kerrigan) Dukes, Gavin Dukes (Kelsie), Carsyn Dukes, and McKenzie Fortner; great-grandchildren, Drew Jolley, Claire Dukes and Holdyn Dukes; sisters, Barbara (Kenny) Murphy of Alachua, FL, and Cathy (Fate) Seay of Trenton, FL; as well as numerous extended family and friends.
A funeral service to honor Thomas’ life will be held on Tuesday, September 29, at 12:00 pm at his church, Sardis Baptist in Worthington Springs. The family will receive friends for a visitation beginning at 11:00 at the church. Brother Paul O’Steen, Pastor, will be officiating the service. Thomas will be laid to rest in the Fortner Family Plot in Dekle Cemetery with Military Honors. Arrangements are under the care and direction of Archer Funeral Home, Lake Butler. 386-496-2008. www.archerfuneralhome.com
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