The Fortenberry family is sad to announce, Joseph Walter Fortenberry, age 76, quietly passed away on Sunday, June 7, 2020. He had suffered from a long illness with multiple sclerosis and brain damage from strokes. His official cause of death was respiratory failure caused by COVID-19. The family would like to remind friends and colleagues that, as our cities and states lessen quarantine restrictions, please remember to protect our elder and infirm populations. Hand washing, personal distancing, and the wearing of masks are a few of the precautions we can take for our elders—even when it seems a little inconvenient for the rest of us.
Joe was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, and attended East Tennessee State University, where he studied mechanical engineering. He had a long career with IBM in Knoxville and later owned his own company, InfoTech, in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
He is survived by his daughter, Shannon J. Fortenberry of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and son Thaddeus S. Fortenberry, daughter-in-law Leyla Megrelidze, and granddaughter Asta Eeva Elizabeth of Austin, Texas. Joe leaves his sister Mary Ellen Clark and her husband Don Clark, along with nieces Julie Holland and Terri Kerley of Knoxville and Steffanie Benson-Elliott of Altamonte Springs, Florida; nieces Stephanie Hall and Lindsay Morton and families; and nephews Ryan and Christopher Kittrell and families, all of Atlanta, Georgia.
Joe was preceded in death by his mother Stella, his father Joseph Hubert, and his younger sister Debra Fortenberry.
Joe will be missed, but the family is comforted knowing that he is free from the pain and discomfort he had experienced for years.
A celebration of Joe’s life will be held in June 2021 in Knoxville, Tennessee, with the dates to be determined. In lieu of flowers, donations in Joe’s name to Sacred Heart Home in Hyattsville, Maryland, are welcomed. Sacred Heart is where Joe called home for the last 12 years. The wonderful staff and the Ministry of Sisters, Servants of Mary Immaculate, made Joe feel safe and secure and introduced him to the beautiful teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. The address for Sacred Heart Home is 5805 Queens Chapel Road, Hyattsville, MD 20782. Or click here: https://www.paypal.com/donate/?token=D1jA_d22xFJBaudOVp9rm6FMnFo68BFNswq8ttnGou0HI5wetaCmBwL16o9l0V8ArV43NW&country.x=US&locale.x=US.