Robert Malcolm Fortson Jr.

September 17, 1921February 5, 2019

Commander R. Malcolm Fortson, Jr. USN (Ret) of Jacksonville, Florida died peacefully on February 5, 2019 surrounded by loved ones. He was 97 years old and is survived by his wife of 73 years, Kathryn. Malcolm is survived by three sons: Cdr. R. Malcolm Fortson, III, USN (Ret) (Martha Frances) of Portsmouth, Virginia, Richard C. Fortson (Mary Stuart) of Jacksonville, Florida and Alvin R. Fortson (Lee Ann) of Fayetteville, North Carolina. He is the proud grandfather of 4 grandchildren and 1 step-grandchild: Rob Fortson, Anna Kathryn Logue, Vail Fortson, Bowdre Fortson and Chis Hagan and four greatgrandchildren and three step-greatgrandchildren. He was affectionately called "Sport" by family and friends. He also survived by two sisters, Nellie Hull and Janet Walthall. He was predeceased by his sisters Ann Wright Freeman and Bolling Douglas, and brother Capt. Thomas Fortson, USN (Ret). Commander Fortson, Jr. was the son of RADM R. Malcolm Fortson, Sr. and Nellie Phinizy of Jacksonville, Florida. He graduated from Robert E. Lee High School in 1939. While in High school, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy Reserve in 1938 and later graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in the class of 1945. He then served in WWII in the Pacific aboard the USS Lutze DD-481. Following the war, Malcolm went on to become a Naval Aviator engaged in anti-submarine warfare joining VP-45 in Bermuda. Following a tour in Japan he attended the US Naval Post Graduate School, Monterey, California completing a Masters in Operations Research. He served tours in Washington, D.C., VX-1 in Key West, Florida and USS Valcour (AVP-55) in the Persian Gulf. Following his retirement in 1967, he joined Operations Research, Inc. and in 1974 moved the family to Atlantic Beach, Florida and later to Jacksonville where he grew up on the St. John's River. In retirement, Malcolm could be found gardening or volunteering at St. John's Presbyterian Church. He was a former president of the Rotary Club of Jacksonville Beaches and a member of the Rotary Club of West Jacksonville. The family would like to thank Patricia Pearson, Arbor-Terrace Ortega, and Community Hospice at St. Vincent's Riverside for the loving care they provided our father. Funeral Service will be held 11:00 a.m. on Monday, February 11 at St. John's Presbyterian Church, 4275 Herschel St. followed by a reception. Interment at 2:30 p.m. in Evergreen Cemetery, 4535 N. Main Street with military honors. Memorial contributions may be sent to St. John's Presbyterian Church. Arrangements are with Hardage-Giddens Funeral Home and condolences can be made on line at HARDAGE-GIDDENS EDGEWOOD CHAPEL, 729 Edgewood Avenue South, is serving the family.


  • Funeral Service Monday, February 11, 2019
  • Committal Service Monday, February 11, 2019

Robert Malcolm Fortson Jr.

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Francine, Kimberly, and Hailey Fortson

February 21, 2019

Dear Kathryn and family. I (We) are so sorry to hear that Malcolm has passed. He was a wonderful man...……………….. always smiling, always helpful, always wanting to be with family...…………………. causing those around him to feel welcome and loved. I was proud to be affiliated with him , and happy to be in his company. He was a true treasure. ………………….. to his family and those that loved him, to his country through his service to the US Navy / military, and to his community. I (we) wish you all the best. Godspeed Always, Love, Francine, Kimberly, and Hailey Fortson