Billie Ray Fortenberry

July 16, 1948 ~ January 11, 2024 (age 75) 75 Years Old

Billie Fortenberry Obituary

Master Sergeant Billie Ray Fortenberry was born in Tylertown, MS to the late Ellis and Margariette Fortenberry on July 16, 1948. He was raised in the Mount Moriah community and was a member of Magee's Hill from his youth. He attended J.J. Gulledge High School and graduated in 1967. Billie Ray was joined in holy matrimony with Mary Ruth Carr in 1970 and to this union three sons were born: Alonzo, Tavel, and LaBoris. In the mid-90's, the Fortenberry's welcomed twin girls into their home and family, Samantha and Sabrina. Billie Ray loved his family and was a proud Paw-Paw to his grandchildren, great nieces and nephews, and great-grandchildren.

Billie Ray was drafted into the United States Army in January 1968 and served his country for over 30 years. During his time in the military, he completed tours in Vietnam, Desert Storm, and Saudi Arabia. He was the recipient of several awards; including: a Bronze Star and Purple Heart. He was an Agent Orange and an RPG mine detonation survivor and served as APC First Sergeant. Billie Ray retired from the military in 2002, but he was never far from it, serving as the president of the Southwestern Veterans Association Nonprofit for many years.

In addition to Billie Ray's military service, he has worked as maintenance technician for Haspel's, Ingalls Shipyard, and Sanderson Farms. He was sheriff's deputy for Walthall County for nearly a decade. He was also self-employed as a carpenter and grounds keeper for many years. He was an avid fisherman, hunter, and farmer.

Master Sergeant Billie Ray was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 49 years; his parents; and a brother: Burnis Fortenberry. He leaves to cherish his memories three sons: Alonzo (Servia) Fortenberry, Tavel (Denise) Fortenberry both of McComb, MS, and LaBoris (Kywanda) Fortenberry of Houston, TX; two daughters: Samantha Fortenberry of Tylertown, MS and Sabrina Fortenberry of Atlanta, GA; 12 grandchildren: DeCarloe, Malcolm, Raven, Ariel, Monique, Yasmine, Edward, TaQuie, Kayla, KaBreya, Nakhiya, and Lakaiden; four great-grandchildren; one brother: Ananias Fortenberry; two sisters: Elgena Rodgers and Dora Hodges; a special sister-in-law: Evangelist Luila (Charles) Shields; a Godson, Charles Jackson; a close great-nephew: KJ Carr; and a host of nieces, nephews, family, and friends.

There will be two public visitations and a funeral service. The first public visitation will be held from 5-7 pm on Friday, January 19, 2024, at Washington Funeral Home, located at 714 Second Street, Tylertown, MS 39667. The final visitation and funeral service will be held at First Apostolic Church, located at 914 Wilson Street, Mccomb, MS 39648. The visitation will be held from 12-1 pm on Saturday, January 20, 2024 and the funeral service will proceed promptly at 1 pm. Pastor Eric Brister will be officiating and rendering the eulogy, interment will be at Tylertown Cemetery #2.

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January 19, 2024

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Washington Funeral Home Inc
714 2nd Street
Tylertown, MS 39667

January 20, 2024

12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
First Apostolic Church
914 Wilson Street
Mccomb, MS 39648

January 20, 2024

1:00 PM
First Apostolic Church
914 Wilson Street
Mccomb, MS 39648


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