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Our beloved husband, dad, brother, grandpa and great-grandpa, Jay Eldon Fortie, 79, passed away unexpectedly and peacefully at home on January 5, 2021 in Mesa, Arizona. He was born on May 21, 1941 to Jowett Alexander and Oneta Moffitt Fortie in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was the youngest of seven children.
Eldon grew up in SLC, where he attended Roosevelt Elementary, Granite Jr. High and Granite High School. He played the trumpet, sang in the choir and participated in basketball, wrestling and track. He began his football career with LaVell Edwards as his high school coach and father-figure due to his own father’s passing at a young age. He attended Brigham Young University on a football scholarship where he was BYU’s first All-American football player, nicknamed “The Phantom”. After a record setting career, his number “40” jersey was retired. He continued his career playing professional football with the Canadian Edmonton Eskimos.
He met his wife, Janice Webster, in Jr. High. They married in the Salt Lake LDS temple in 1961. They had 5 children. He started his successful and award-winning career in sales which took their family from coast to coast and in between. He was a lifelong and devoted member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served in multiple bishoprics, high councils and other various callings. Eldon could always be found serving others and volunteering to help whenever needed. He loved supporting, coaching and encouraging his children, and later his grandchildren, in all of their activities. He loved hunting, fishing, camping, skiing, boating, gardening and spending time with his family. He was an advisor for the Grand Land Singers (an LDS Institute patriotic singing group) and his love of music led him to participate in several choirs, bands and performance groups. He performed with his family in the City of Joseph musical in Nauvoo, Illinois.
Eldon and Janice called Escondido, California home for 30 years where they served in the LDS San Diego Temple Presidency 2008-2011 and served a Temple Mission in Nauvoo, Illinois in 2013. They moved to Mesa, Arizona two years ago to be closer to family.
He is survived by Janice, his loving and devoted wife of almost 60 years, his four children: Kalene Day (Jeff), Darren, Lori Davey (Nate), Shauna Passey (John); his brother, John Fortie, 12 grandchildren and soon-to-be eight great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his infant son, Jerry Layne, parents and five siblings.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday, January 12, 2021 at 10:00 am with a viewing at 9:00 am at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 11121 E. Ray Rd, Mesa, Arizona 85212. Interment to follow at Mountain View Cemetery, 7900 E. Main St., Mesa, Arizona 85207. Masks and social distancing will be required.
To view the livestream of the service use this link: