Sueko Fortner was born November 3, 1933, in Kiyan Village (Okinawa, Japan) where she was the youngest of seven children in a family of farmers and fishermen. She went home to be with the Lord on October 27, 2020, at the age of 86, holding the hand of her beloved husband, Olen Douglas Fortner.
As a girl, Sueko learned traditional Okinawan dance and excelled at academics, volleyball, swimming and running. She loved to climb trees and dance and sing. She loved the ocean and walking barefoot on the beaches of her hometown where she taught herself how to play the harmonica given to her by her beloved brother who died in World War II.
After World War II and as a teenager, she went to work at Naha Air Force Base to help support her parents and family. She was always a hard and smart worker and eventually opened her own restaurant where she met and married Olen Douglas Fortner in 1961.
Sueko is survived by her beloved husband, Douglas, and her three daughters, Kim Mudge, Mary Lau, and Carolyn Price.
Sueko was a certified seamstress who enjoyed sewing clothes for her daughters. She loved flowers and gardening.
For almost 60 years, she worked side-by-side with her husband Douglas cutting pulpwood, fixing fences, raising cows and goats, and planting a garden. It was often said of Sueko that she was little in stature but mighty in spirit. She was fearless and the designated family snake, mouse, and spider killer.
She was a good neighbor and faithful friend calling on people in her community, bringing them food in times of need, sewing quilts, and crocheting blankets. No act of kindness or service was too big or too small for her.
At the age of 48, Sueko became a Christian and she was a naturalized American citizen. From the day of her pancreatic cancer diagnosis in 2003 until the day of her death, Sueko never complained of pain or felt sorry for herself. She never worried and always knew that her Savior carried her in the Palm of His Hand. She often reassured her family during their times of doubt and pain that she was ready to die at any time because she knew she was going to heaven.
For almost 40 years, Sueko was a member of Mountain Creek Baptist Church. Amongst her church family were her best friends. Sueko was also a longtime member of Izumi Kai, a Japanese Women's Bible Study and Fellowship.
In addition to being survived by her husband and daughters, Sueko is survived by her favorite sons-in-law: Eldon Mudge, Ronald Lau, and Dale Price; her grandchildren: Kelly (Aaron) Williams, Jeremy (Nicole) Mudge, Joshua Lau, Michael (Debbie) Lau, Matthew Lau, Nathan Lau, Alex (Kayla) Price, and Jacob Price; and her great-grandchildren: Chloe, Lily, Ivy, Rose, Lewis, Chase, Simon, and Dawson.
Sueko loved her husband, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. One of the greatest joys of her life was being a mother and a grandmother. Most of all, Sueko loved Jesus.
"Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion which will not be taken away from her." Luke 10: 41-42
Sueko chose the good portion and it has not been taken away from her.
"Death is swallowed up in victory! Oh Death where is your victory. Oh Death where is your sting." I Cor 15:54-55
A visitation will be held on Friday, October 30, 2020 from 5-7pm at Ellison Memorial Funeral Home in Clanton.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, October 31, 2020 at 2:00pm from the Mt. Creek Baptist Church with Rev. John Episcopo officiating.
The body will be in state one hour prior to the service at the church.
Burial will follow in the Mt. Creek Baptist Cemetery in Marbury, AL.
Final care and arrangements entrusted to the Ellison Memorial Funeral Home of Clanton, AL.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Sueko (Adaniya) Fortner, please visit our floral store.