SUBLETTE - Gifford “Bugs” Fordham Jr., 72, of Sublette passed away peacefully on Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020 at Heritage Health in Mendota.
Gifford was born Feb. 3, 1948 in Amboy to Gifford and Grace (Hazelwood) Fordham.
He graduated from Amboy High School in 1966. He was a proud veteran of the U.S. Army and served in the Vietnam War. He married Diane Fetzer on March 7, 1970. Together they had three children. He later married Irene Shaw on Jan. 8, 1999.
Bugs was a skilled welder and worked at Agriculture Building Company for over 26 years until he suffered from a stroke in June of 2000 that left him disabled. He was an avid fan of the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago Bears. He was an outdoorsman who had a great love of hunting and fishing. He enjoyed his Saturday car rides cruising the country roads and driving by the family farm to look for wild life. He had a large collection of baseball hats and it was very seldom that Bugs would be seen without a hat. He looked forward to visits with his family & loved to share stories and special memories.
He is survived by and will be dearly missed by Irene Fordham; two cherished daughters, Tricia (Brian) Hiebing of Mendota and Amy Hicks of Dixon; one beloved son, Jared Fordham of Sublette; step-sons, Yancy Shaw and Eric Shaw, both of Dixon and Neil Shaw of Oregon; his precious grandchildren, Lyndsay (Tyler) Hodapp, Andrew (Harleigh) Hiebing, Ian Hiebing, Camryn Kirby and Charlee Fordham; great-grandchildren, Avery Hodapp, Paisley Schmidt, Benjamin and Emery Hiebing and Baby Girl Hiebing arriving soon; step-grandchildren, Dylan, Colton, Ethan, Evan, Gabe, Christian, Cory, Carter, Cody, Irelyn and Patrick Shaw; step great-grandchildren, Arira and Dominick Shaw; his brother, Larry Fordham of Amboy; his sisters, Linda Hess of Earlville and Diane Fordham of Spring Valley; step-brothers, Ron (Marlene) Egler of Sublette and Ed Egler of Florida; and step-sisters, Linda Ikens of Amboy and Deb Egler of Dixon.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his step mothers, Laverne Fordham and Ellen Fordham; and his sister, Debra Hartenbower.
Face masks and social distancing requirements were enforced for a public visitation on Friday, Aug. 14 from 4-8 p.m. at the Merritt Funeral Home, Mendota. Cremation rites were accorded after the visitation and a private family burial with military honors by the Mendota VFW Post 4079 will be held at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Sublette at a later date.
Memorials may be directed to the family.
Bugs was a wonderful father, grandfather and great-grandfather that was very loved and will be deeply missed by many.