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Obituaries » Jessie Lee Fortner

Jessie Lee Fortner

December 22, 2018

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Jessie Lee Varnado was born October 3, 1930 to the union of DeWitt and Maggie Varnado in New Orleans, Louisiana. She was the youngest of ten children. She is preceded in death by all but one brother.

Jessie accepted Christ at an early age at Rose Hill Baptist Church in Magnolia, Mississippi.

Her childhood and early years were spent in Magnolia completing her education and graduating from Rose Hill High School. After graduating, she helped her mother with the responsibilities of the home and caring for the grandchildren while their parents moved to California seeking employment to provide a better life for their family. In May of 1954, they returned to Magnolia and relocated the family to California. Jessie loved California, she stayed and began a new life.

Jessie gained employment in the service industry, housekeeping, childcare and cooking. During this time she met and later married her husband also named “Jesse”, Jesse Fortner. They were blessed with their son Clemmie Fortner who they loved dearly.

They moved to Sebastopol, CA where they continued to work. After a while, they opened the Elizabeth Care Home. Jessie’s patients loved her, and she loved them like family. They also owned an operated a successful bar-b-que business.

Jessie and her family united with the wonderful people of the Hessel Church congregation where she regularly attended until her health prevented her from being in attendance, especially for Sunday morning service.

After her husband’s death, Jessie relocated to Rohnert Park, CA.

Jessie was the beautiful expression of what God’s love is “unconditional”. She lived the golden rule, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” She always kept in touch with all of her family members and friends reminding each of us that she loved us and that were always welcome in her home.

Jessie leaves to remember her beautiful life, a host of extended family, many loving neighbors, friends and a kind and caring church family.

Thank you, dear Lord, for giving us this beautiful spirit in our lives.

We are comforted in our mourning that an ‘Angel of Love’ was in our midst and is now with You and her name was Jessie.

Services will be held on Wednesday, January 2, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. at Hessel Church, 5060 Hessel Ave., Sebastopol, CA. Burial to follow at Pleasant Hills Memorial Park.