Clarence Russell Fortney • September 13, 2019
Russ was born in Wheeling WV on June 28, 1939 to Cecil E. and Clara E. Ware and died on September 13, 2019 after a short battle with lung cancer. He was married to Annette Custer Fortney for 24 years.
Russ was married to Colleen Fortney (died 1992) for 33 years prior to her death. From this marriage they had two sons, Roger Fortney (Carie) and David Fortney. He had one grandson, Maron Fortney.
Russ had a very colorful background. He joined the Navy in West Virginia in 1957 after graduating from Wheeling High School. He then graduated from Kent State in Kent, Ohio with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He later attended Seminary at Duke University and graduated in 1978.
While in the Navy, he was a Navy Seal. His duty assignments included the following: USS Purdy DD734; USS Guam LPH7; USS Ainsworth DE1059; USS W.E. Sims DE1062; USS Detroit DR7; USS Vulcan DR7; Steam Generating plant inspector on the Boiler Appraiser team; Swift Boats for 2 years during tour in VietNam which was from 1974-1977 and was Casual Report Investigator during his last 10 years. His last 4 years were spent at Ellyson field as Master Chief of the Command. He retired in 1978 but was called back for Seal Duties on the Tiger Team twice after retirement. He was employed by various engineering firms after his retirement from the Navy. His appointments for the Methodist Church by the Alabama/West Florida conference included Midway United Methodist Church, Pleasant Grove UMC and Farmhill UMC. He then resigned from the Methodist church and had affiliation with the Presbyterian Church where he pastored at McElwain Presbyterian, Niceville/Valparaiso Presbyterian and Concord Presbyterian. He then joined Warrington Baptist Church as a member and later became the interim pastor until he became pastor at Beach Haven Baptist for 14 years.
Russ is survived by his wife Annette and his two sons Roger (Carie) Fortney and David Fortney and his grandson, Maron Fortney. He is also survived by his step children, Kris Jernigan (Frank) and Kevin Edgar and his grandchildren Morgan Jernigan, Gavin Jernigan and Kendall Edgar.
Funeral services will be at Pensacola Memorial Gardens on Monday September 16, 2019 at 11:00AM. Burial will be at Pensacola Memorial Gardens following the service with full military honors.
Condolences via donations to the Florida Baptist Children’s Home, 1000 Chemstrand Road, Cantonment, FL 32533 in Russ’ memory would be welcomed by his family.