Wilkinson Davis Fort, MD passed away peacefully on October 18, 2019, at Trinity Place in Albemarle, North Carolina, after enjoying a long and full life. He was born on February 11, 1926 in Lumpkin, Georgia to Gladys and Morton Fort.
He left home at 17 to attend North Georgia Military Academy in Dahlonega, Georgia as was the tradition for young men in his family.
He was drafted into the service in 1944, first into the infantry, but was later transferred to a program at the University of Chicago language center for training to become a Japanese translator.
After serving in the army, Davis attended the University of Georgia on the GI Bill, where he got a degree in banking and finance. He then returned to his home town, where he worked in agriculture at Tucker and Fort, Inc. Unsatisfied with working in his small hometown, he left to return to Athens and decided to take premedical courses. He attended medical school at the University of Tennessee, and completed his residency at the Medical College of Virginia.
Davis settled in Albemarle, NC and established the Albemarle Women’s Clinic in November of 1966, where he was joined by his partners John Herring, MD and Robert Gaither, MD. He estimated that he had delivered nearly two thousand babies during his career.
Throughout his life he always contributed to the communities that in lived in. While in Albemarle, he served as Chairman of the County Commissioners and during his tenure as a commissioner a new courthouse and library were completed. He was a delegate at the Democratic Convention for Jimmy Carter, was on the Board of the USS Carolina, and an Assistant Clinical Professor at UNC Chapel Hill School of Medicine. He also served on the Executive Committee of the American College of Surgeons and the American College of OB/Gyn for North Carolina. He pioneered intrauterine transfusions in NC before the advent of Rhogam.
He believed that education was the most important part of culture. To honor his late wife, Daisy T. Fort, he founded the Twenty First Century Scholars Program at Stanly Community College, and also sponsored many individual scholarships to private individuals.
In 1996, Davis Fort was preceded in death by Daisy Fort, his wife of 45 years, with whom he had two daughters, Amelia Fort Bell (Tony) of Boise, Idaho and Mercedes Fort (Rick) of Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
His grandchildren are Ryan Tierney Bell, Riley Katherine Bell, J. Regan Bell, Jessica Lynn Jones, Wilkinson Fort Jones, Jefferson Zornes Burns and great grandchildren; Mirren, Wyatt, Lachan, Darby and Isla.
In 1998, he married Betty Lynn Boone, who also preceded him in death in 2014. They shared his step children, Julie Boone Brown (Larry, deceased) of Raleigh, Owen Bradford Boone, Jr. (Jane) of Albemarle and Stewart Preston Boone (Christin) of Charlotte.
Step grandchildren are Alexander Stone Boone, Jackson Dwight Boone, Benjamin Kemster Brown (Brittany), Hollis Owen Brown, Savannah Hope Boone, Garrett Owen Boone and Lee Dryden Boone.
A memorial service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church in Albemarle on Friday October 25th at 2:00. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to the 21st-Century Scholars program at Stanly Community College. In addition, they wish to extend heartfelt thanks to Jo Compton, Henry Snuggs, David Blalock and Debbie Wainwright, whose generous, loving care and companionship made it possible for him to enjoy his last years at home.