Farris DuFay Fortner, 89, entered into rest on March 8, 2013, at Freeman Neosho Hospital Neosho, following a short illness.
He was born on July 7, 1923, in Shirley, Ark., to Glover Montrose and Ruth Ermoine (Brown) Fortner. The family moved into the Delta area of Southeast Missouri (also known as the Missouri Bootheel). He graduated from high school in Gideon, Mo. Farris farmed with his father until the loss of his right hand in a farming accident. He taught school for several years while attending college during the summer. Farris graduated from Murray State University in Murray, Ky., where he met his wife, Anna French. Continuing to teach, Farris attended graduate school during the summers until receiving his masters in education degree from Arkansas State University. Farris served as high school principal in Anniston, Mo., and Leadwood, Mo, before moving to Crocker, Mo., where he served as superintendent of schools for 13 years. Retiring from teaching in Missouri, Farris returned to Arkansas where he worked as school librarian at various schools before retiring a second time. He then returned to Missouri, living with his wife in Sarcoxie from 1990 until April 2009, when they moved to Neosho. Farris collected clocks and enjoyed tinkering with them. He was an active Gideon, and when in Sarcoxie, he volunteered regularly at the Taylor Museum. He was a member of Calvary Baptist Church in Neosho and earlier in life, served as a deacon in Poplar Bluff, Mo., and Parkin, Ark.
Farris married Anna Elizabeth French Fortner on June 3, 1951 in Princeton, Ky., and she survives.
He is also survived by his children, Janet M. Dyer and husband, Charles, Houston, Mo., Farris David Fortner and wife, Debbie, Sullivan, Mo., George Fortner and wife, Connie, Neosho; grandchildren, Brian L. Dyer and wife, Pam, Tulsa, Okla.,, Laura A. Stitt and husband, Dan, Springfield, Mo., Angela Blaxton and husband, Malachi, Enid, Okla., Aimee Stinnett and husband, Corey, Webb City, Mo.; great-grandchildren, Alexander Dyer, Madalene Dyer, and Damien Dyer all of Tulsa, Okla., David Stitt and Hannah Stitt, Springfield, Mo., Corbin Stinnett and Owen Stinnett, Webb City; siblings, Wilson “Wallace” Fortner, Shoreline, Wash., Mary Ruth Harris, Tuscaloosa, Ala., Lanore Godsey Taylor, Sikeston, Mo., Doris McDaniel and husband, Bill, Warner Robbins, Ga.
Farris was preceded in death by his parents; his infant daughter, Doris Jean; three brothers, William M. Fortner, L. Weldon Fortner, and Horace Fortner.
Funeral services will be held 10 a.m. Tuesday at Clark Funeral Home Neosho; Rev. Sam Turner officiating. Graveside service will be held 1 p.m. Wednesday, at Stanfield Cemetery, Clarkton, Mo. Mr. Fortner will lie in state from 9 a.m. -7 p.m. Monday at Clark Funeral Home Chapel of Memories, Neosho. and family will receive friends from 6-7 p.m. Monday.
In lieu of flowers family is requesting memorial contributions may be made to the Gideons or Calvary Baptist Church Neosho, c/o Clark Funeral Home P.O. Box 66 Neosho, 64850
Arrangements are under the direction of Clark Funeral Home, Neosho.
Online condolences may be posted at www.clarkfuneralhomes.com.