SERVICE INFORMATION FOR
Frances Jean Fortwengler
Burial Location: Private
Frances “Jean” Fortwengler, 80;
Career Driven, Independent Woman
Frances “Jean” Fortwengler, 80, of St. Charles, passed away peacefully at Brighton Gardens on Monday, January 21, 2008 following a courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
Jean was born on February 19, 1927 in Louisville, Kentucky to the late Nola and Jessie Fesler. A coal miner’s daughter, Jean grew up on the road, transferring to many different cities throughout her childhood. Her early years helped shape the woman she became; independent, strong and a person who could quickly engage with people around her.
At age 16, Jean returned to Louisville and enrolled in Kentucky’s first school of nursing at the John Norton Memorial Infirmary. Later, Jean furthered her medical training at John Hopkins nursing school in Baltimore, Maryland. “Fes,” a nickname given to her by colleagues, worked as a surgical nurse for three years.
A successful career woman until age 69, Jean worked alongside her husband Joseph Fortwengler at Ulano, a silk screen printing manufacturer. As a convention manager, Jean traveled extensively, working at printing shows throughout the United States and Europe. Nicknamed “The Energizer Bunny” for her strong work ethic, Jean prided herself on being an independent woman with the ability to work just as hard, if not harder than most men. For her accomplishments, she received the Industry Training Connection award for Ulano, Midwest in 1990.
Her “take charge” attitude continued in her golden years when she moved into Brighton Gardens with her husband in 2006. Staff members often said that she and Joe “practically ran the place.”
Jean is survived by her husband, Joseph; daughter and son-in-law, Susie and George Legh-Page of Houston, TX; daughter Nola Martellotti of Geneva, IL; son Joseph of Prospect Heights, IL; five grandchildren, David Legh-Page of Houston, TX, Daniel Legh-Page of Austin, TX, Melissa Martellotti of Chicago, IL, Christopher Martellotti of San Francisco, CA and Jennifer Martellotti of Geneva, IL. She is further survived by the many wonderful friends she made at Brighton Gardens. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her infant son David, son-in-law Carlo Martellotti and her beloved dog Yogi.
As an expression of sympathy, memorial contributions may be made in Jean’s name to Brighton Gardens of St. Charles, 600 Dunham Road, St. Charles, IL 60174, 630-587-6120.
A special thanks to the staff at Brighton Gardens for providing comfort and support to Jean, Joe and the family.
For more information please contact Yurs Funeral Home of St. Charles at 630-584-0060 or yursfuneralhomes.com.