Samuel Paul Fortenberry
Samuel Paul Fortenberry
  • February 19, 1957 - January 26, 2018
  • Texas

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Samuel Paul Fortenberry, 60, passed away on the morning of January 26, 2018.
Sam was born February 19, 1957 in Dalton, Georgia and lived most of his young life in Tennessee. He moved to Texas in 1980 where he met Susan, his wife of 35 years.
Sam's first career began at a very young age as a carpenter and homebuilder in Chattanooga, TN with his Dad. He ventured out on his own building houses at 19. He married his first wife at 19 but the marriage lasted only a few years. Homebuilding came to a hault in Tennessee with the recession in 1980. He then moved to Texas where the economy was still good. He built houses for Jim Walter Homes for several years. He met and fell in love with his wife, Susan, in 1983 and they lived in Austin for a couple of years. He and Susan bought 15 acres in Flatonia, TX and built their house together. In 1986 a neighbor, who was a retired HPD officer, but currently working as a Fayette County Constable, interested Sam in law enforcement. He entered the police academy in Austin, TX to get his certification to be a police officer. He was first hired as a constable of Fayette County and then hired by the City of Schulenburg, TX as a patrol deputy. While in Schulenburg, Sam initiated a drug dog program as there was a drug problem with the transportation of drugs from South Texas through Schulenburg up north. In 1991, Sam was hired by the Harris County Pct. 4 Constable Office in Houston, TX. He became a Sergeant there while continuing his education in law enforcement. While at Pct. 4 he became an accident investigator re-constructionist. For a time he was Sergeant over K9 patrol. He also became a crime scene photographer.
In 1999 Sam and Susan started their first online business, Southern Front Stained Glass, selling stained glass supplies all over the country and around the world. Sam moved to Harris County Pct. 5 in 2000 and, with Susan, increased their business with adding entryway doors to their product line by Creating Southern Front Doors, LLC. They moved into their first warehouse August of 2005 and, by the end of the year, Sam left law enforcement to work full-time in the business that he and Susan created. They added Texas Wholesale Doors, LLC as another business and several real estate investment properties and worked hard to manage these companies.
Sam was diagnosed with ALS in 2013. Knowing that he would not be able to work and Susan would not be able to run their businesses alone and care for him too, they sold their door companies in 2014.
He is survived by his wife, Susan; his father, S.E. Fortenberry of Cleveland, TN and his sisters, Dr. Teresa Plenge of Marietta, GA and Pam Smithson of Arlington, TX.
A visitation will be held on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 from 12:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. with funeral services starting at 2:30 p.m. at Earthman Resthaven Funeral Home. A committal service will follow at Earthman Resthaven Cemetery.