Thomas A. Fortney

Thomas A. Fortney, age 87, of rural Viroqua, passed away peacefully on Monday, December 30th, 2019 at Soldier’s Grove Health Services.


Thomas A. Fortney, age 87, of rural Viroqua, passed away peacefully on Monday, December 30th, 2019 at Soldier’s Grove Health Services. He was born on March 12th, 1932 to Alfred and Alida “Ruby” (Jasperson) Fortney.He was baptized and confirmed in faith at the Franklin Lutheran Church. He attended and graduated from Viroqua High School in 1950, following school he enrolled in the Auto Mechanic Program at Wisconsin Technical Institute in La Crosse. In 1953 he was drafted into the United States Army where he was deployed to Korea. On August 16th, 1958 he married LaVonna “Jane” Fisher at the Church of Christ in Viroqua. Together they purchased the home farm, later named ‘Fortundalen’, from his parents and raised their three children. He was a true mechanic and handyman, often times repairing and inventing things for other people in need. He spent many hours teaching other people mechanics and offering solutions to many. He truly was a mentor, many times opening up their home to those who needed some guidance getting back on their feet. He also had several roles in the community, including 4H leader, President of the Vernon Co. Holsteins, Treasurer for the Franklin Lutheran Church, and a Notary Public. In his later years he found a passion in genealogy and called himself a genealogist, tracing back several family’s linage.He had an excellent memory even in his final days and was a great storyteller which was reflected in his writing. After retirement, he became a published author of the book ‘Growing Up: Life on a Wisconsin Farm’, as well as writing many other unpublished works. He was an absolute kind soul to everyone, and he will be greatly missed.

Thomas is survived by his loving wife LaVonna “Jane” Fortney; children James (Sheryl) Fortney, Nicholine “Nicky” (Philip) Crick, and Hassan “Ole” (Kelcie) Fortney; grandchildren Carl & Allen Fortney, Torgor & Anna Crick, and Ellanor & Asher Fortney. He is also survived by a sister Sue (Peter) Walby; brother David (Julie) Fortney; sisters-in-law Donna Fortney, and Barbara Fisher; and a brother-in-law Donald (Linda) Fisher, as well as many other family and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Fredric Fortney, brothers-in-law Vince Fisher, Hollis Fisher and Harlan (Sheila) Fisher, as well as other family and friends.

A Celebration of life will be held on Saturday, January 11th at 11 a.m. at the Franklin Lutheran Church with Pastor Jeanette Thorp officiating with military rites to follow. Burial will take place at a later date in the church cemetery. Family and friends may call from 5-7 p.m. on Friday, January 10th at the Thorson Funeral Home in Viroqua, and again from 10 a.m. until the time of the service at the church. Online condolences may be left for the family at

The Thorson Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Viroqua is proudly serving the family.

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