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Larry Lee Fortner lived a life defined by love. He was born April 18th, 1938 in McPherson, Kansas, with a love for adventure and a desire to explore new horizons. His journey led him to Zelda – his wife, companion and love, business partner, and fellow adventurer for 53 years.
Larry and Zelda started their own display advertising company, Graphic Communications. Larry’s love for meeting and knowing people, along with his creative talent, helped the company flourish. His strong salesmanship led to longterm partnerships with and award-winning displays for Coors, Universal Studios, and many others. He loved his work and he loved the people he and Zelda brought in to work alongside them. They forged lifelong friendships along the way that have kept them surrounded by love long after retirement.
Larry’s love for his family was unmatched. He was ever supportive of his son, Kendall, who inherited Larry’s natural salesmanship and adventurous spirit. His daughter, Kathy, brought great joy and happiness into his life, and both of his children share the same kindness toward and love for people that their father had. Larry was devoted to his three grandchildren, playing a very active role in their lives and doing anything he could to add to their happiness. He was also “Uncle Amigo” to eleven of his great nieces and nephews, filling the role of father, grandfather, and mentor in their lives – their Great Uncle with an emphasis on ‘Great’. His love for his family was life changing and they all loved him deeply.
Amazingly, Larry still had love to give, and he was a devoted friend to so many. He enriched their lives, walked with them through the joys and struggles of life, and enjoyed sharing his passions with them – cats and animals, cars, an appreciation for beauty and art, and much more.
Larry used some of his final words to share his love for One more. He said he wanted everyone to know that Jesus is the most Important, and to always remember that Jesus is with us. He was ready to go, and passed away peacefully on January 12th, 2022, after having led a full and exuberant life.
Larry was preceded in death by his parents, Harvey and Jennie Fortner, his siblings, Signa Mahaffey, Kendall Fortner, and Dale Fortner, and by his son, Kendall Dale Fortner. He is kept forever in the hearts of those he left behind – his wife Zelda Fortner, his daughter Kathy Bales and spouse Bob, his daughter-in-law Carol (Fortner) Francka, his grandchildren Brittany (Fortner) Crosthwait and spouse Kyle, Christian Fortner and spouse Jenny, and Terra (Fortner) Marshall and spouse Jacob. He is also survived by several more loving family members: niece Kristi Mahaffey Fontenot and spouse Steve, and her children Josh Stanley, Jenn Hawkins, Joel Stanley, Jesse Stanley, Jon Stanley, Jordan Stanley, Jared Stanley, Joy Stanley, J Austin Stanley, Julee Stanley, and Jensyn Stanley; niece Sharon Tanner; niece Sumuki Sweesy and spouse Clair, and her children Sarah Blue Cloud and Rebecca Sweesy; and great nephews Kelly Staples and Kent Staples.
Information on a memorial service will be released at a later time. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate a donation to a charity of your choice, or to Sunshine Acres Children’s Home: www.sunshineacres.org/donate or 3405 N Higley Rd, Mesa, AZ 85215.