Clifford Earl Fortner was born in Hanna, Oklahoma, on Aug. 15, 1924, to William and Rosetta Fortner, and he passed peacefully on Feb. 8, 2020, after an extended battle following a stroke.
Cliff attended Liberty High School and left to work at Pomeroy Farms in Brentwood, where he would learn the skill of driving a caterpillar tractor, a skill Cliff would utilize in the U.S. Marine Corps. Like his brothers Paul and Warren, Cliff enlisted in the Marine Corps, trained at Camp Pendleton and served in the 9th Armored Cavalry operating an amphibian tractor. Cliff served in the decisive USMC battle in Okinawa, the most expensive terrain in Marine Corp history.
As a certified USMC marksman, Cliff loved hunting with his sons and brothers, as well as fishing and camping on the California coast and Sierra Mountain ranges. Cliff was most at home in the mountains. He loved tending to his garden and the acre of assorted fruit trees he had planted behind the house he and his father built for Cliff’s family.
Clifford met the love of his life, Billie, in Brentwood, when they both worked at the local Ford garage. Married on Nov. 7, 1948, they would spawn a raucous litter.
After Cliff was discharged from the Marines, he secured employment at Fiberboard Corp., in Antioch, as a spare hand. Cliff would go on to be a production supervisor when Fiberboard was acquired by Louisiana Pacific, from which he would retire after 44 years.
He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 65 years, Billie; brothers, Paul, Warren, Harold, Stan and Richard; sisters, Rose, Irene and Edna; and grandson, John. Cliff is survived by his sister, Joyce; sons, Michael, Randy and Rick; grandson, Brian; great-grandson, Tristan; and great-granddaughters, Chloe and Claire.
Graveside services will be rendered by the U.S. Military Honors Guard at the Brentwood Union Cemetery, at 11 a.m., on Feb. 24, 2020.