August 21, 1933November 9, 2020

James Harold Fortenberry, 87 of Jacksonville, Florida passed away peacefully on November 9, 2020 while in the care of Community Hospice St. Vincent’s Riverside. He was born on August 21, 1933 in Daytona Beach, Florida to William and Ava Fortenberry. He graduated from Andrew Jackson High School (Jacksonville, Florida) in 1951. He continued his education by receiving a bachelor’s degree from Jacksonville University and a master’s degree from the University of North Florida. After high school he enlisted in the United States Army and served his country proudly through active duty and reserves. He retired after 20 years as a Lt. Colonel. He also worked for the Jacksonville Electric Authority and retired after 20 years. He was also a part time adjunct professor at the University of North Florida. He loved to be outdoors to garden and grow plants. He had such a green thumb. He was a long-time member of the Men’s Garden Club and loved to work at the fair to raise money selling their plants. During his lifetime he was part of many organizations. He loved to give back to others and the community. One of them that was so dear to him was being the Executive Director of the Suicide Prevention Center. This was a nonprofit agency that provided volunteers to work the phone hotlines and run support groups for survivors of suicide. He was part of a very close-knit alumni group from Andrew Jackson High School and they met monthly for dinners and lunches. He was very active at the Chapel at Naval Air Station. His deep faith was very important to him and he attended chapel weekly. James is predeceased by this parents William and Ava Fortenberry, a brother William Fortenberry a sister Margaret Mann and his high school sweetheart and love of his life Joan Gledhill. James is survived by his daughter Karen (Chris) Sheard, his two grandsons Richard James Sheard, John William Sheard and his precious great granddaughter Rose Marie Sheard. He has many nephews and nieces that are very close to him and loved him dearly. We were all so fortunate to have such a close and loving family. Services will be held on Monday, December 7, 2020 at 2:00pm at Jacksonville National Cemetery, 4083 Lannie Road, Jacksonville, Florida 32218.


7 December

Graveside Service with Military Honors

2:00 pm




have a memory or condolence to add?

Tom Taylor

November 29, 2020

Mr. Fortenberry was the commanding officer of the first Army Reserve unit that I joined and he swore me into the service in 1966. I also knew him as Managing Director at JEA. I enjoyed my time in the unit and glad to see that he had such a long and productive life after he retired.

John Layton

November 23, 2020

Remembering Jim at FRC-Fl Ribbon & Carbon and his patricipation in all the activites at Men's Garden Club. My sincere condolences to Jim's family.

Faith,Love, and Hope

John Layton


November 23, 2020

I was one of the volunteers at the Suicide Hotline in the 70's, and remember Jim from there. It was a great organization, of which he helped keep afloat, and moving forward, along with Bonnie Jacob. I loved being apart of such a caring organization. Later, I was hired on staff and gained wonderful job experience.
My condolences go out to Jim's family. I know you must have some wonderful memories of being with Jim, so keep those in mind, in hopes they ease the pain of his passing.
Emi K.

Kathy Gibbs

November 18, 2020

Love and condolences to the Sheard family. Jim was a great role model and will be missed.

Rusty and Kathy Gibbs
Toby Harvin

Susan Schall

November 11, 2020

To the Sheard Family, I love you all very much and will very much miss Dad. We are family!!!!

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