Obituary of Oscar Allen Fortner
Oscar Allen Fortner was born on August 9, 1934, in Sneedville, Tennessee. He was the only son of four children born to the union of Paul Fortner and Cecil (Jones) Fortner. Oscar attended Sneedville High School from where he earned his diploma. Shortly after graduating, Oscar moved to Michigan, making his home in Monroe. He soon met his future bride. On November 16, 1957, Oscar married the love of his life, the former Bobbie Ruth Burke. The happy couple was soon blessed with the birth of four wonderful children.
Bud was an employee of Chevy Hydra-matic, now known as GM Powertrain. After working just shy of 35 years he made the decision to start his retirement.
Known as a kind, forgiving, loving and supportive, hardworking, man of God, Oscar was also a devoted father, and had a delightful sense of humor. He loved loving his wife and was blessed to have done so for fifty-nine years. Being very family oriented, Oscar cherished spending time with loved ones, and took great joy in making memories with each of them. By far his favorite place to visit was Tennessee. Getting back to his roots was quite sentimental and held high hopes for returning their again one day.
Bud was naturally a creative and skilled individual. He enjoyed working with his hands, and often could be found tinkering on and improving small engines such as those used in minibikes, motorcycles, go carts, snow mobiles, and lawn mowers. Some of his efforts were ignited by watching “How To” YouTube videos.
Oscar was a fan of traditional, classic, and nostalgic entertainment. He enjoyed the simplicity and authenticity of the Old West, often immersing himself into watching an episode or two of a western show. He loved Southern Gospel and Bluegrass music as well, appreciating what he felt was the sense of community and belonging they both provided and similar to traits that he displayed throughout his own lifetime.
For many years, Bud drove a bus for Monroe Missionary Baptist church transporting both the youth and senior adults. When he was in worship, he could be heard belting out a tune as a member of the JOY choir. When he finally had time to sit back and relax after a long day’s work, he relished in receiving back, head, and foot rubs.
Oscar Allen Fortner, age 88, of Temperance passed away peacefully on Sunday; June 4, 2023. His passing was preceded by his parents; his wife: Bobbie; three sisters: Ruth Carpenter, Ann Greene, and Rose Trent.
To cherish his memory he leaves four children: Paul (Michele) Fortner of Maumee, Pam (Lenny) Steuwe of Petersburg, Billie (Ronnie) Riggs of Monroe, and Tommy (Suzanne) Fortner of Monroe; five grandchildren: Dirk (Elyse) Riggs, John (Yilan) Fortner, Amy (Brian) Kanney, Cristina (Travis) Beaufait, and Daveaux Riggs; two grand fur babies: Luna and Lucky; six great grandchildren: William Fortner, Lucas Fortner, Isaac Kanney, Elise Kanney, Makoi Riggs, Monroe Riggs, Baby Beaufait due in July.
Friends may gather on Wednesday; June 14, 2023, from 3:00pm until 7:00pm at Merkle Funeral Service, South Monroe; 14567 South Dixie Highway, Monroe, Michigan 48161 (734) 241-7070. A Celebration of His Life, led by Pastor Roy Southerland will take place at 7:00pm also at Merkle’s.
Online guests may leave words of inspiration and comfort or share a photo by visiting www.merklefs.com. Memorial donations, in Oscar’s honor, may be made to Pam Steuwe for sponsorship of a Youth Mission trip.
The family wishes to express their heartfelt appreciation to Pastor Roy Southerland for his prayers and spiritual guidance; Bea and Cliff for always looking out and helping Mom and Dad; Phil Lambert for treating dad with kindness and respect while helping the kids care for him this year; and Tim and Amy Dawes for their friendship and support, especially for putting their own lives on hold to come to the Fortner family’s rescue in a time of crisis.