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John Fortenbury '56 October 29, 2020 2:41 PM updated: October 29, 2020 4:22 PM

John Soule Fortenbury
May 16, 1934 - October 26, 2020

Colonel John S. Fortenbury, 86, of Jacksonville, Arkansas, passed away peacefully October 26, 2020 at Premier Nursing Facility in North Little Rock, Arkansas. He was born May 16, 1934, in Saint Louis, Missouri to the late John W. and Lodema Fortenbury.

John attended North Little Rock High School and graduated in 1952. His basketball talents did not go unnoticed by college recruiters and he eventually accepted a full athletic scholarship from the University of Texas A&M to play basketball, the game he genuinely loved. John graduated in 1956 from Texas A&M Corps of Cadets and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United State Air Force. For the next 22 years of military service, he and his family moved 10 times during that span. While stationed at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, John continued his quest for knowledge and received a master’s degree from the University of Missouri. After his time at the Pentagon, his last assignment brought him back to Arkansas to command the 374th Strategic Missile Squadron at Little Rock Air Force Base. After retirement from the Air Force, he went to work in the mortgage business at First Arkansas Bank and Trust for the next 15 years. John loved basketball and shared his love of the game; he held summer basketball camps and gave individual instruction on basketball fundamentals. He volunteered his time to the fourth and fifth graders in the Upward Basketball Program sponsored by Park Hill Baptist Church, as well as with other children's church ministries. John was a long-time member of First United Methodist Church in Jacksonville, Arkansas.

John is survived by his loving and devoted wife of sixty-seven years, Joyce Fortenbury, of the home; three children, John Michael Fortenbury of Bellevue, Nebraska, Ronald Fortenbury of Jacksonville, Arkansas and Joni Pippen of North Little Rock, Arkansas; five grandchildren; eight great- grandchildren; one great great-grandchild and three siblings, Mary (Chuck) Fortenbury Ward, Laura Fortenbury Rhea and James (Becky) Fortenbury.

The family asks that memorial gifts be made to First United Methodist Church, Jacksonville, Arkansas. Funeral services will be 1:30 p.m., Friday, October 30, 2020 at First United Methodist Church, 220 West Main Street, Jacksonville, Arkansas. Graveside services with military honors will immediately follow at Chapel Hill Memorial Park, 1504 N JP Loop Road, Jacksonville, Arkansas. Arrangements by Moore's Jacksonville Funeral Home, 501-982-2136.

FUNERAL SERVICE
First United Methodist Church
Friday, October 30, 2020 at 1:30 PM
308 W Main St
Jacksonville, AR 72076


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