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Obits: Sarah West Fortney

Sarah West Fortney

Sarah Elizabeth “Betty” West Fortney, 92, died of natural causes at her home in Maryville, Tenn., Monday, July 28, 2014, with family by her side. 

She was caring and devoted, born with a kind, gentle spirit, who was unfailingly polite, to the last day of her life. Born April 11, 1922, to parents Walter Wesley “Bud” West and Ella Agnes Miller West on the family’s dairy farm in the Pino community of Davie County, she was the sixth of eight children. 

She was preceded in death by her husband J.L. Fortney, her parents, brothers Walter Miller West, Lonnie Gray West Sr. and wife Dorothy, Luther Wilson West Sr., and by sisters Virginia Steelman and husband George, Jessie Guentert and husband Harold, and Lois Deese and husband Ray Jr. 

Survivors: her daughter, Lindalee Fortney Thomas of Maryville; her brother, Roland West and wife Betty, sister-in-law Ostine West, all of Mocksville; as well as numerous nieces and nephews. 

She loved her family. Elissa Evans, neighbor and friend, shared more than 40 years of holidays and special occasions with her and her daughter. She graduated from Farmington High School in 1941 and completed the Nursing Diploma Program at City Memorial Hospital, Winston-Salem, earning her registered nursing degree. She was employed by the Georgia Baptist Children’s Homes, Baptist Hospital of Memphis and Santa Monica Hospital. After her family moved from California to Maryville in 1962, she worked 23 years at Blount Memorial Hospital, primarily as night-shift charge-nurse on pediatrics, retiring in 1986. She loved God, seeking to live by His principles and was a member of First Baptist Church of Maryville for more than 50 years. After retirement she volunteered in the church nursery and visited members who were homebound or in nursing homes. She enjoyed trips and good-times with the FBC “Golden Agers,” as well as happy games of Rook and “Hand & Foot” with church friends, sitting on the porch of the Wonderland Hotel in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. She spent three years at Wellington Place Assisted Living before returning home for a year with her daughter. In her last 12 months she drank plenty of coffee, ate lots of everything and enjoyed watching her bird-feeders. 

The visitation and funeral were conducted at Smith Mortuary of Maryville, Saturday, Aug. 2. A memorial service will be held Sunday, August 10, 2:30 p.m., at Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church, Mocksville, which she attended as a child. The Rev. Sara Scruggs will officiate; Ben Brock will play piano. Remains will be interred in the church cemetery.

Memorials: Cemetery Fund of Wesley Chapel UMC, c/o 3532 NC 801 N., Mocksville.