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Charles David Fortmiller

Dave C.D. Fortmiller was born May 30, 1923, in Albany, Ore., to Charles and Ruth (Livengood) Fortmiller. He passed away at home, his favorite place, in Talent, Ore., on November 3, 2011. A memorial service will be held November 19, 2011, 2:00 p.m., at the First Presbyterian Church of Ashland.

Dave was a 1941 graduate of Santa Monica High School, where he served as student body president. He then served in World War II in the European Theatre with the 104th Timberwolf Infantry Division Band. Upon completion of his military service Dave earned a B.S. in 1947, from the University of Oregon, and a M.B.A. in 1949, from Stanford University.

Following his education he was employed at the Emporium Department Store in San Francisco, Calif., where he met his future wife, Gladys Aronson. They were married in 1951. In 1952, they moved to Ashland, Ore., with daughter, Lisa. Dave took over management of Fortmiller's Department Store opened in 1935, by his father, Charles, and John Daugherty. Sons, Dean and Dan, were born in Ashland.

In his 40 years of owning and operating the department store he trained and mentored countless numbers of employees. Dave was one of the first businessmen to plant trees on Main Street to beautify the downtown business community; the first of many contributions he made to the betterment of Ashland. He was recognized as Oregon's Small Business Association's Man of the Year in 1981. He retired from day-to-day operations of the store in 1992.

Dave's contributions to the local community were many including serving on the Ashland School Board from 1958 to 1968, chairing the board twice. He was the president of the Ashland Chamber of Commerce twice, served on the Ashland Community Hospital Foundation Board from 1983 to 1989, the Mt. Ashland Ski Corporation in the 1960s, was a board member for Jackson County Federal Savings and Loan from 1972 to 1989, and the Board of Trustees of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival Endowment Fund. He was an instructor at what is now Southern Oregon University in the School of Business from 1968 to 1972.

He had a tremendous love of music as evidenced by his longtime membership in the Firehouse Five Band, a staple in the annual Fourth of July parade where they often traveled the parade route not once but twice to the joy of the community. He was honored in 2009, as the Grand Marshal of the parade, and was deeply moved by the experience. He also participated in the Shriner's band and as a musician for the Elks and Rotary. He also enjoyed membership in the ROMEOs.

David is survived by his wife of 60 years, Gladys Fortmiller; daughter, Lisa Beach, of Ashland, Ore.; son and daughter-in-law, Dean and Lori Fortmiller, of Talent, Ore., and son and daughter-in-law, Dan and Kate Fortmiller, of Portland, Ore.; grandchildren, RuthAnne B. Bergt (Kevin), of Encinitas, Calif., David Beach (Majell), of Bend, Ore., Margaret B. Wodehouse (Kaha'i), of Haleiwa, Hawaii, Laura B. Davis (Conone), of Bend, Ore., Dana Fortmiller, of Ashland, Ore., and Emma Fortmiller, of Portland, Ore.; and three great-grandchildren, Kahale Warring, and Kylee and Makaiah Davis.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Ashland Community Hospital Foundation or to the charity of your choice.

Arrangements under the direction of Litwiller Simonsen Funeral Home, Ashland, Ore.