Nora Mae (Fortenberry) Gaultney
1930 - 2012, Santa Barbara
Nora Mae (Fortenberry) Gaultney passed in the early morning of August 9, 2012. Nora was born September 16, 1930 in Dawson, Texas to Joseph Clifford and Willie Margaret (Hines) Fortenberry. She was preceded in death by her parents, her three siblings Billy Fortenberry, Robena McCain and Donald Fortenberry and her husband, Lee Roy Gaultney II.
Nora was born in a farm house in West Texas. Her family grew cotton, raised cattle and hogs. As with most farm families, she knew the meaning of hard work from a very early age yet she remembered the time on the farm fondly. Two days after her eighteenth birthday she married World War II veteran Lee Roy Gaultney of Lamesa, Texas on September 18, 1948. Lee Roy began working in the oil fields and his family led a nomadic life traveling from drilling site to drilling site. In 1962, the family moved to California, eventually settling in Huntington Beach where they lived until Lee Roy retired to Bullhead City, Arizona in 1988. Nora and Lee Roy also spent four years in Borneo in the mid 1970’s where Lee Roy worked on the oil platforms off the coast. At the time of her husband’s passing they had been married for 56 years. After her husband’s passing, she moved to Las Vegas to be with her son, Terry. In 2011 Nora moved to Santa Barbara to be near her daughter, Patti. She was cared for at Buena Vista Care Center until her death.
Nora was a strong and energetic woman. Throughout her life she worked as a waitress, property manager and in Huntington Beach as a real estate agent/broker. But she will be remembered most for her love of family. Her welcoming southern hospitality meant that her house was filled with friends of her children. She was known for her pecan pie, fried chicken, backyard barbeques and black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day. She was talented seamstress who not only made clothes for her daughter but for her daughter’s friends. She made many beautiful dresses for her granddaughters. She loved gardening and attributed her green thumb to her farm upbringing. Her children, her grandchildren and her great grandchildren were the joy of her life.
Nora is survived by her daughter Patti Gaultney and her husband Jeff Korpela of Santa Barbara, California and her son, Terry Gaultney of Elko, Nevada. She delighted in her four grandchildren: April Gaultney of Salt Lake City, Utah, Jerri Gaultney of Bullhead City, Arizona, Kortney (Korpela) De La Torre and husband, Ivan of Goleta and Wesley Korpela of Santa Barbara. Nora’s great grandchildren gave her tremendous joy: Hailey (Gaultney) Schultz, Ronin (Gaultney) Sanchez and Thiago (Korpela) De La Torre. She is also survived by many loving nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held Friday, August 17, 2012 at 2pm at First United Methodist Church of Santa Barbara, 305 East Anapamu Street.