In Memoriam

Anthony C. Fortosis
Ben Lippen School

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SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: In March of 1999, Dr. A. C. Fortosis went to be with the Lord. For those who would like to pay tribute to Dr. Fortosis, please post your favorite memory of him through the link above, and I will add it to this page.

The Weeber girls were in attendance at the funeral, and here are some photos of the Fortosis "children" and the Weeber girls. Can you tell which is which?

Some Former Ben Lippen Faculty Kids

Joanna (Reichel) Fox, Class of 1969 <>
Columbia, SC, USA

Tribute to Dr. Fortosis:

The terms "Ben Lippen" and "Dr. Fortosis" were one and the same back in the 60's for me. I was a newcomer to this world of missionary kids. But I was not a newcomer to a jealous and righteous God. Dr. Fortosis epitomized this for me. I'm glad it didn't stop there because I had yet to learn of an intimately compassionate God. This "Mt. Sinai man" whose presence resonated with crashing of thunder and bolts of lightening was also the "Jesus man" of Isaiah with his compassion and forgiveness. You could not help but see it in his eyes.

I will always remember his explanation of the "two sides" of God as portrayed in Isaiah as He held out his hand ... either a hand designated for punishment or a hand meant for loving restoration. There was always a choice. Dr. Fortosis wasn't just teaching a book of the Bible; he was personally pleading with us to choose restoration rather than punishment; to choose the blessing instead of the curse; to choose life instead of death. Throughout my life Isaiah has been my favorite book of the Bible; it is here that I have begun to know the heart of God. Now I realize it is most likely because of Dr. Fortosis.

One thing I will never know is why his pet name for me was "Buttercup!" That seemed totally incongruous!

But from what I do know of him, he was a man of integrity; his personal convictions matched up with his life. And that made the world of difference for me.
- Joanna (Reichel) Fox, Class of 1969

Not a day goes by that I do not hear the words he repeated over and over in various senior lectures in Bible and Social Studies (and he taught us only half a year!),"How are you going to make your testimony relevant to Herkemer over there in the corner, from Asheville High School?"

When I say "hear" I mean that I heard them even during my agnostic mid-twenties as part of the Hound of Heaven that would not let me go...

He also introduced me to 1 Cor. 13. I obviously would have stumbled on it at some point, yet his teaching and paraphrase frames my reading and application to this day as a man pushing 50. Probably EXACTLY what he wished.

- Rich Kennedy, Class of 1971

I suppose it is true that many students kept their distance from Dr. Fortosis. That was not to be my relationship. Beginning with my sophomore year, Doc, for some reason, began to identify with me and spent some effort to mentor me, even as he continued with teaching, administrative, and family responsibilities. My contacts with him I will never forget. Once, we were discussing a matter and he asked me, "Well, what does the Bible say?" "In everything give thanks," I replied. "What is the rest of the verse?" he asked. "I don't know," I answered. He looked at me with those dark eyes, deep as eternity, it seemed, and said with a gentle enthusiasm, "The key to the verse, my friend: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."

I college I wrote a piece about him-- my most unforgetable character. It was he who introduced me to the writings of C. S. Lewis and of Francis Schaeffer; my life would never be the same. He taught me Isaiah, and like a virus, Old Testament study has infected me ever since. His punishments to me were goal-oriented, and I could see the goal. I had hoped I would meet him in the air. As it is, perhaps I will greet him there, or else he and I will return together to greet others.

There have been a few men who showed me what godliness, what true spirituality, is. A couple were faculty at Ben Lippen; a couple were family. Tony Fortosis was one of those men.

- Ray Smith, Class of 1967

Dr Fortosis led me to the Lord in January 1963, my senior year. I always remember his Bible classes from Isaiah. His love for the Lord, sincerity and dedication to all those around him were unquestionable and unique.

- Charles Digby, Class of 1963

Did my apprenticeship under Tony Fortosis and we were close friends for years, often rooming together at various places where we taught or served on boards. We shared many thoughts; it might be hard for 50s & 60s students to know that he was a gentle and kind person, he could come across pretty stern--he, also, had a sense of duty, but for years he was the conscience of the Christian School movement regarding having a "Shepherd's heart."

- Jack Layman, former faculty member and headmaster

My main remembrance of Dr. Fortosis was the GRAVITY of his commitment. There was no playing around with him and his relationship with the Lord. It was sincere and real and all the way. What a contrast to the world today when alas, we see almost nothing but foolishness and emptiness in our entertainers, leaders, etc. And the world's worst are most of the television preachers. Yuck! When we compare Dr. Fortosis with them, we then understand the GRAVITY of his commitment compared with the sham of theirs.

- Roy Rood, former faculty member

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