Gifford “Bugs” Fordham Jr.


SUBLETTE - Gifford “Bugs” Fordham Jr., 72, of Sublette passed away peacefully on Aug. 6, 2020 at Heritage Health in Mendota.

Face masks and social distancing requirements will be enforced for a public visitation on Friday, Aug. 14 from 4-8 p.m. at the Merritt Funeral Home, Mendota. Cremation rites will be accorded after the visitation and a private family burial with military honors by Mendota VFW Post 4079 will be held at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Sublette at a later date.

Gifford was born Feb. 3, 1948 in Amboy to Gifford and Grace (Hazelwood) Fordham. He married Diane Fetzer on March 7, 1970 and together they had three children. He later married Irene Shaw on Jan. 8, 1999.

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, and great-grandchildren, Avery Hodapp, Paisley Schmidt, Benjamin and Emery Hiebing and Baby Girl Hiebing arriving soon; his step-grandchildren, Dylan, Colton, Ethan, Evan, Gabe, Christian, Cory, Carter, Cody, Irelyn and Patrick Shaw; step great-grandchildren, Arira and Dominick Shaw; one brother, Larry Fordham of Amboy; two 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 one sister, Debra Hartenbower.

Bugs graduated from Amboy High School in 1966 and was a proud veteran of the U.S. Army having served in the Vietnam War. He was a skilled welder and worked at Agriculture Building Company for over 26 years until he suffered from a stroke that left him disabled in June of 2000. He was an avid fan of the Chicago Cubs and 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 very seldom could Bugs be seen without a hat. He looked forward to visits with his family and loved to share stories and special memories. Bugs was a wonderful father, grandfather and great-grandfather who was very loved and will be deeply missed by many.

Memorials may be directed to the family.

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