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Celebrating the life of Willie Eugene "Buddy" Fortner
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Obituary for Willie Eugene "Buddy" Fortner
It has been said that “A great man is one who leaves others at a loss after he is gone”. The Fortner Family, as well as many others are at a loss. Willie Eugene Fortner, or as many knew him, Buddy passed away early Wednesday December 21,2016. He leaves behind his wife of 51 years Clara Raye Fortner, his two children Tommy and Gina, a daughter in law Wendy and his three grandkids Kelsey, Sean-Thomas and Nicholas Fortner and his sister, Faye Tucker from Huntsville, AL. He was a member of First Baptist Church Millington, TN and lived in Shelby Forest. Those are the facts of Buddy Fortner, but with every great man there is always more. Buddy Fortner had no friends. No, to him everyone was family. Whether he knew you for 30 minutes or 30 years, you were his family and he was going to treat you as such. He was “Honey” to his wife, “My Dad” to his son, “Daddy” to his daughter, “Dad” to his daughter in law and “Papaw” to his grandchildren. He was a man among men, loving with every fiber of his soul, laughing harder and louder than anyone else and towering over others. He did whatever it took to make his family happy, including trips to the lakes, teaching his daughter to drive, riding motorcycles with his son or taking his grandkids to the park. If it made them smile, he was going to do it. Despite his many obstacles and issues, you never saw him without a smile. He called every nurse darling or honey, man or woman. If you were feeling down or upset, that feeling did not last long around Buddy Fortner. He could make you laugh with his many one liners or make you smile with his many stories from his past. He would make you wonder if he was making things up or exaggerating but you still hung on to every word and syllable he uttered. He made you believe you were the best person, the absolute best at everything and anything. It could range from playing a sport, to cutting down to a tree or even making scrambled eggs. YOU were the best in his eyes and around him, you believed it too. Because of him, you felt stronger, faster, smarter, taller, more athletic, more courageous, kinder, more compassionate. You believed you were a better person, because he believed so. The world lost a one of a kind man on December 21, but Heaven gained the best kind of angel that day too. The kind you feel when things are rough that eases your soul, the kind you feel when things are great that brightens your smile, the most loving kind of angel Heaven could ever hope for. So even though we miss him, it is not good bye. No it is merely see you later. And Buddy…we will all see you someday soon.