Nov. 19, 1946 – April 6, 2023
Milford Roy Fortenberry died April 10, 2023. He was born to the late Aaron and Willine (Pittman) Fortenberry Nov. 19, 1946, in Tylertown. He graduated from Tylertown High School and attended Mississippi State University, where he was a member of the Rodeo Team. Milford met the love of his life, Collette, and they soon married on April 28, 1967. Eleven months later, they went from a family of two to a family of four when their first set of fraternal boy/girl twins arrived, Shane and Shawn. In 1971 they would be a family of six when their second set of boy/girl fraternal twins arrived, Kim and Kelly. Two years later, in 1973, they became a family of seven when a single baby girl, Carman Elizabeth, was born.
Milford loved God, his family, his country, farming, and selling cars and tractors. Family, friends, and customers enjoyed time spent with Milford listening to him talk of his children and grandchildren and telling stories of his great adventures and a well-lived life. He and Collette owned Fortenberry Dairy and Cattle Co. in the Oral/Dexter community of Walthall County. In 1977 Milford was recognized as Mississippi’s Outstanding Young Farmer. He was later inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records for selling over 300 cars in one month. His claim to fame was when he played the “Dapper Dan Man” alongside George Clooney in the movie Oh Brother Where Art Thou, filmed in Mississippi.
During his 40 years in the car and tractor business, he always felt fortunate to have shared mutual respect with the people he worked with. He had announced his retirement on April 30, 2023. Co-workers, customers, friends, and family were planning a celebration dedicated to him.
Milford was preceded in death by his wife of 32 years, Collette Sue Sartin Fortenberry; his parents, Aaron and Willine Fortenberry, and one sister Arline Dillon Beard.
Milford is survived by his five children: Shawn (Andy Coy) Churchill-Coy of Clifton, TN, Shane (Faye) Fortenberry of Penelope, TX, Kelly Fortenberry of Gainesville, TX, Kim (Yollie) Fortenberry of Springtown, and Carman Fortenberry of Gainesville, TX; 10 grandchildren: Aaron (Madison) Fortenberry, Aubrey Fortenberry, Austin Churchill, Avery Fortenberry, Addyline Fortenberry, Caeden Fortenberry, Collette Fortenberry, Mason Fortenberry, Willow Fortenberry, and Clara Jo Fortenberry; two great grandchildren: Bryce Fortenberry and Barrett Fortenberry; sister: Jacqueline (Victor) Fortenberry Johnson of Hernando; sister-in-law: Judy Pat Sartin (Late J.W.) Brumfield of Terry; cousins, nieces, nephews: Andy (Melissa) Dillon, Michelle (Jason) Allen, Tiffany (Jason) Ketchum
He was a member of Raymond Baptist Church in Raymond, and Oral Missionary Baptist Church in Tylertown.
Pallbearers were Dr. Andy Dillon, Aaron Fortenberry, Aubrey Fortenberry, Austin Churchill, Avery Fortenberry, Caeden Fortenberry, and Mason Fortenberry
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Cooke County Hope Alliance or Oral Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery Committee.
Graveside services and interment were at Oral Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery in Tylertown, April 15, 2023.
Meador Funeral Home, Gainesville, Tex, was in charge of the arrangements.