Thomas J. Fortman, 83, of rural St. Marys, OH died 11:45 p.m. Monday May 10, 2021 at his residence.
He was born July 22, 1937 in St. Marys, OH to Franklin and Lena (Kohlreiser) Fortman.
On October 24, 1959 at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, he married Nancy Karol Moots, who survives.
Also survived by: daughter Kimberly (Scott) Hoenie of St. Marys, OH
Son Todd (Stephanie) Fortman of St. Marys, OH
daughter Beth (Mark) Nolan of St. Marys, OH
daughter Lisa (Dan) Leiber of St. Marys, OH
18 grandchildren 33 great-grandchildren
sister Carol (Bryce) Chivington of St. Marys, OH
brother Donald (Bev) Fortman of St. Marys, OH
numerous nieces and nephews
Preceded in death by: parents Franklin and Lena Fortman; brother James (Judy) Fortman
He was a graduate of St. Marys Memorial High School (Class of 1955).
He served his country in the Army National Guard and was particularly proud to have finished 1st in his class of 223 in testing for physical fitness.
Tom was the proprietor of Fortman Taxidermy in St. Marys. His humble beginnings started with a correspondence book about the subject. From there, he eventually mastered the craft to become a world-renowned taxidermist. His mounts have won numerous awards which are centerpieces of many private collections, displayed in various museums, and have even appeared in television shows.
He was a member of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus Council # 1592, VFW Post # 9289 and Eagles Lodge Aerie #767, all in St. Marys.
Tom had numerous hobbies and pastimes, including fishing, competitive weight-lifting and motorcycle racing. An accomplished pilot, he took a particular interest in bi-planes and aerobatic stunts. Residents of the St. Marys area can recall seeing him fly in the local skies for many years. For a period of time, he even flew his plane for "Super Chicken", who would parachute out of Tom's airplane.
He dearly loved his wife, Nancy, and enjoyed their time together traveling and just having fun. He also appreciated the opportunity to work alongside his children in the family business.
An avid outdoorsman who valued the wonders of nature, he took frequent rides to the woods in his UTV. One of his favorite activities in the woods was to go and listen to the raindrops falling upon the tin roof of his hideaway.
Mass of Christian Burial is scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m. Monday May 17, 2021 at the Holy Rosary Catholic Church, with the Rev. Alexander Witt, celebrant. Burial will follow at the Gethsemane Catholic Cemetery in St. Marys.
Visitation 2- 6 p.m. on Sunday and 9:30 - 10:30 a.m. on Monday at the Miller - Long & Folk Funeral Home 314 W. High Street in St. Marys.
Memorial contributions may be directed to Holy Rosary School Adopt-a-Student Program.
Condolences may be expressed and memories shared with Tom's family via: www.millerfuneralhomes.net
(Tom's family wishes to express their sincere gratitude to many of Tom's "flying buddies" who performed flyovers above the Fortman property during his final days!)
To send flowers to Thomas' family, please visit our floral store.