William Raymond Fortner, 91, died peacefully at home on Thursday, May 21, 2020 Ray was born in Birmingham, Alabama on September 12, 1928 to Monnie Burchfield Fortner and William Fletcher Fortner.

He graduated from Lakeland High School in 1946 and served two years in the US Army in Japan. He entered the University of Florida in 1948 and graduated in 1952 with a BSBA, and from the UF law school in 1955. He was a member and president of Lambda Chi Alpha social fraternity, a member of Phi Delta Phi legal fraternity, and an editor of the Florida Law Review. Ray practiced law in Lakeland for 51 years and held many distinctive positions including Justice of the Peace, Assistant Lakeland City Attorney, and Assistant Polk County Prosecutor.

He was a (former) member of Lakeside Baptist Church. He enjoyed golf, hunting, fishing, and his summers in Lake Toxaway, North Carolina. He was an avid Gator fan and supported them faithfully through thick and thin.

Ray was preceded in death by his parents, sister Doris Fouts, and his son, William Dean Fortner.

He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Jacquelyn McDougald Fortner, daughter Melanie (Jay) Ross of Alpharetta, Georgia; daughter Brooke (Dan) Rowland of Fernandina Beach, Florida; sister Jean Queipo of Florida; sister-in-law Patricia McDougald of New York City; grandchildren Brooke (Sean) Bailey, William Chandler Ross and Ashton Ross; grandchildren Brenna, Madeline, Katie and Allison Rowland; and great grandsons Brayden and Bryce Bailey.

Graveside services will be conducted by Tim Sizemore, Pastor of Beacon Hills Fellowship on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 10:00 A.M. at Oak Hill Burial Park, 4620 US Hwy. 98 S., Lakeland, FL. 33812.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the charity of your choice.

Condolences may be sent to the family at Heath Funeral Chapel.

Keep Up With Lakeland

Each Thursday, we’ll send you the latest news, including a preview of weekend events

SEND CORRECTIONS, questions, feedback or news tips: newstips@lkldnow.com

Leave a comment

Your Thoughts On This? (Comments are moderated; first and last name are required.) Cancel reply