December 9, 1944 - February 2, 2022
On February 2, 2022, along with the choirs of heaven we celebrated the Homegoing of Susan Fortner, beloved wife, mother, sister, Nana, and friend. A funeral service will be held at 11:00 AM, Saturday, February 5, at McEachern Memorial UMC in Powder Springs, GA. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the church. The third of seven children to Walter and Elisabeth Abbott, Susan was born in Chicago and raised in Smyrna, Georgia, and in her final decades she was a resident of Dallas, GA. She began playing piano at age four and took her first of many church pianist positions at the age of thirteen at Smyrna First Baptist Church. Some of her other church pianist assignments included the First Baptist Church of New Castle, PA, the Assembly of God Church in Woonsocket, RI, Mount Calvary Church of Marietta, GA, and most recently, Clarkdale United Methodist Church of Clarkdale, GA. Music was a significant part of Susan’s life. Early in her musical career, she transcribed music for composers Baynard Fox and Ken Medema, and she provided assistance to Word Publishing for their New Baptist Hymnal. She taught piano lessons privately in her home and in schools around Cobb County, and she provided the accompaniment for numerous musical performances in churches, high schools, colleges, and community theaters around the country. She also accompanied in her much-loved Smyrna Community Chorus over a span of forty seasons. In recent years, she enjoyed singing and playing for the Joyful Singers senior chorus as they visited numerous assisted living facilities and senior care centers in metro Atlanta. Susan was uniquely talented at providing the aging residents with a wonderful time of reminiscing over songs from bygone eras. Susan was beloved wife of 57 years to Robert Fortner. They met at Shorter College in Rome, GA where Susan was pursuing her degree in concert piano performance. Susan’s firstborn son Walter Fortner came along a few short years after the marriage followed quickly by twin daughters Allison Mackey and Nanci Lamborn. Much of Susan’s professional career was spent with Liberty Mutual Insurance Company where Robert also worked, and her assignments took place in the Atlanta office and the Boston company headquarters. She also enjoyed several years of teaching in special education and providing clerical support for various small businesses. Her grandchildren were her pride and joy. Known as Nana to some and Nonny to others, her home was filled with memories of her seven “favorites.” In order of age, her grandchildren (each one her favorite) are Marlena Wallace (who preceded her Nana in death), Chelsi Hill (Matt), Dakota Kinney, Sarah Mackey, Ethan Fortner Sadowski (Emily), Jonathan Mackey, and Erick Fortner. She is also survived by the surviving spouse of Marlena Wallace (Joshua) and her great grandchildren Colt and Remy. She endeavored to make her home a gathering place where all were welcome, and the sign over her door reading “Mommer’n’ems” was how she referred to her home. She was the biggest fan to every grandchild, cheering loudly from the stands for her favorite athlete, musician, or scientist as often as possible. Susan loved a well-planned prank, and she was especially fond of scavenger hunts. One of her favorite Christmas traditions was to hide gifts that could only be found by following a series of difficult clues. On numerous occasions, she would even enlist the help of local businesses to participate in the hunts, convincing them to hide clues or pieces to the puzzles she had created, and requiring the hunters to drive all over town to figure out the riddle and the location of their gifts. Prayer was important and powerful to Susan. She loved every opportunity to love on friends and strangers alike while wearing her “I’mma Pray for You” t-shirt. Deeply empathetic and moved by the grief of others, Susan could often be found weeping with others as she prayed for their hurts. She connected strongly with God as the comforter and healer, and she loved counseling others to “put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness”. Susan has been welcomed Home with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the place she has longingly pictured for years. She’s singing with her Mama and Daddy, her siblings Joyce and Danny, and her granddaughter Marlena, along with heaven’s choirs, and she’s completely whole, healed, restored, and at eternal peace. In lieu of flowers, Susan requests that donations be made to the American Cancer Society Leukemia Research Division in honor of her loved ones who have battled.
On February 2, 2022, along with the choirs of heaven we celebrated the Homegoing of Susan Fortner, beloved wife, mother, sister, Nana, and friend. A funeral service will be held at 11:00 AM, Saturday, February 5, at McEachern Memorial UMC... View Obituary & Service Information
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