Raymond Fortney, Jr.

Obituary of Raymond Earl Fortney, Jr.

Ray Fortney was born in Tacoma, Washington but spent most of his life in Seattle. After a fairly difficult childhood, he must have made a decision that he would provide his family with a very different experience. He met and married the love of his life, his wife Barbara, in 1961 and went on to have three children. He worked hard to provide in a way that allowed for a stable home, private education for his children and a lifestyle that wasn’t extravagant and yet somehow felt very full. There were family vacations, always by car. There were camping trips with all the delights of childhood, except for the kid who had to sleep on the floor by the toilet. There was even a ski boat that brought memories that still make us belly laugh to this day. Specifically the fact that Ray couldn’t seem to master the fine art of letting go of the rope when you fell water skiing. Watching him being pulled along below the water still brings tears to our eyes. Ray was passionate about sports. He supported the Seattle Sonics, the Mariners, the Seahawks and whatever team any of his ten grandchildren was on at any given time. You could always count on being able to hear him from several houses away whether his team was winning or losing. When he wasn’t watching the last Seahawks game before he died, we knew we were losing him. Ray’s ten grandkids adored him. He was truly one of the best grandpas around. The kids would spend the night out at grandma’s and grandpa’s house quite often in the early years. In later years, he would come to any sports or school activities the kids had. He even came out to some UW crew races to support his granddaughter, despite not knowing a thing about the sport. One of his greatest sorrows at the end of his life was not living long enough to meet his new great grandchildren who will arrive in 2022. What Ray will be remembered most for is his kindness. He would literally give you the shirt off his back. When his wife Barb pulled up in the driveway with groceries, he would jump out of his chair to help her. He moved every one of his kids in and out of numerous apartments, houses and sororities. We learned from watching him, and to this day we all jump when someone needs help. The last few years were difficult due to the extreme pain he was in. He had prostate cancer that had metastasized to his bones. It is never easy to watch a loved one in pain. He is now in peace, free of pain. We loved him so much and will miss him dearly.
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