Dennis E. Fortune, 69, of Geneseo passed away after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer Tuesday, August 20, 2013 at Hammond-Henry Long Term Care, Geneseo. A funeral service celebrating Dennis’ life will be held at 10:30 am on Monday, August 26 at Vandemore Funeral Homes Ltd, Geneseo. Rev. John Bray will officiate. A visitation for Dennis will be held from 3-7 pm on Sunday at the funeral home. Cremation rites will be accorded following the service and private inurnment will be held at Oakwood Cemetery in Geneseo. Memorials may be made to the Dennis Fortune Memorial Fund.
Dennis was born on November 29, 1943 in Geneseo, IL, the son of Gaylord and Katherine (Deal) Fortune. He graduated from Geneseo High School in 1962 and then later from Western IL University where he earned his bachlors degree. Dennis was united in marriage to Donna E. Ellsworth on January 16, 1965 in Kahoka, MO. Dennis’s Marine service was cut short due to a football injury. Dennis began his teaching career at Annawan High School where he taught for one year. He then went to Erie High School where he taught art and world history as well as coaching track, wrestling and football for 34 years retiring in 2002.
Dennis attended the Heritage Wesleyan Church. He proudly earned Eagle Scout status in the Boy Scouts. He was also a member of the NRA (National Rifle Assoc.), Ducks Unlimited, Geneseo Moose Lodge, Illinois Arabian Horse Assoc., and the Quad City Arabian Horse Club which he was a past President and the current Treasurer. Dennis served on the Geneseo City Council for several terms. He also founded the Maple City Cruisers Car Club.
Dennis loved God, his guns, his old cars, his motorcycles, and fishing. He was a staunch conservative and a Rush Limbaugh and John Hagee fan. He was an avid sports fan of football and wrestling. Dennis loved Donna. He loved accompanying Donna to her horse shows and cheering her on to victory. He loved his daughter, grandchildren, and family; and was ALWAYS there for them.
Dennis is survived by his wife, Donna, daughter Christine (Lee) Eastburn, Glendive, MT, grandchildren: Stephanie Fortune, Jacob Eastburn, Kim Eastburn, Katelyn Eastburn and Katherine Fortune; brother: John (Nancy) Fortune, Decatur, AL; 2 sisters: Gloria Jean (Charles) Dilenbeck, Geneseo, IL, Marlene Gray, Green Valley, AZ.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Carol Bowman and his brother Raymond Fortune.