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Willie James Fortenberry

Funeral services were held Saturday, July 18, 2015, at Rose Hill MB Church for Mr. Willie James Fortenberry, 76, who died Saturday, July 11 at his residence. Rev. Melvin Harris officiated with interment following in the church cemetery. Johnson Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Mr. Willie James Fortenberry was born to the late Roscoe and Azula Fortenberry in Silver Creek, MS. He was a member of Rose Hill MB Church where he was a lead singer in the male choir and on the board of trustees.

He attended McCullough High School where he graduated in 1959. Later he married Darlene Richardson and to this union two children were born.

Mr. Fortenberry began his career at Great Lake Fleet Incorporated, U.S. Steel Company where he was a cook for many years. Then he worked at Zapata Offshore Drilling and retired from New Orleans Furniture Company. In 1975, he married Emma Lee Lofton who preceded him in death; no children were born to this union.

He is survived by son, Christopher (Mary Frances) Fortenberry of Prentiss, MS; three daughters, Michelle A. Fortenberry of Houston, TX, Yolanda Hicks of Jackson, MS, and Cynthia Mallard of Atlanta, GA; children he helped raise, Brenda Pittman of Memphis, TN, Jamiah Easterling of Prentiss, MS, Lashondra Moffett, Fredrick Hooker and Gregory Hooker all of Hattiesburg, MS; two brothers, Willie (Elayne) Fortenberry of San Jose, CA, and Amos (Lois) Fortenberry of Los Angeles, CA; two sisters, Bobbie Fortenberry of Chicago, IL, and Ruth (Prentiss) O’Neal of Calumet Park, IL; long time friend, Ella Mae Haynes; many other relatives and friends.