Nona Gillis Fortenberry
Nona Gillis Fortenberry
  • January 1, 1918 - March 31, 2011
  • Ackerman, Mississippi

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Mrs. Nona Gillis Fortenberry, 93, died Thursday, March 31, 2011 at The Choctaw County Nursing Center in Ackerman. Funeral services will be 11:30 Monday in the chapel of Wright and Ferguson Funeral Home in Clinton with visitation from 10:00 until service time at the funeral home. Interment will follow in Lakewood Memorial Park.

Nona was the daughter of the late Nona and W.C. (Will) Gillis of Ackerman and the widow of the late F.M. Fortenberry of Clinton. She graduated from Ackerman High School, earned a B.A. from Mississippi College and a M.A. from the University of Mississippi. She completed further graduate study at the University of Southern Mississippi, Mississippi State University, and Mississippi College. Mrs. Fortenberry taught Business Education at Flora High School, Copiah-Lincoln Community College, and Hinds Community College for a total of forty years. She retired in 1983. While teaching, she had been active in local, state, regional, and national professional associations. Mrs. Fortenberry had been a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, co-sponsor of Phi Beta Lambda, and co-sponsor of Hinds Junior College Association of Legal Students.

Nona was a long-time member of First Baptist Church of Clinton. While attending there she was a member of the Mary Martha Sunday School Class, a member of Forever Young, and the Senior Adult Choir, the "Joy-Makers", where she served as Librarian for many years. She was a member of Copiah-Lincoln Community College Foundation Hall of Fame. She was a Life Member of Clinton Community Nature Center, and for many years she contributed crocheted "Butterflies of Hope" to the Nature Center Gift Shop.

Mrs. Fortenberry was preceded in death by her parents, W.C. Gillis, Nona Adams Gillis, her husband, F.M. Fortenberry, three sisters, Lucy Gillis Parker, Winnice Ruth Gillis and Mary Annie Gillis, and brothers W.C. Gillis, Jr., Claude Bailey Gillis, and John James Gillis.

Nona is survived by her dear sister, Maude Gillis Furr, of Ackerman, two sisters-in-law, Elsie Shelton Gillis, of Memphis, and Odein McBrayer Gillis, of Alexandria, LA, and several nieces, nephews and great-nieces and nephews.

Memorials may be made to Baptist Children's Village, P.O. Box 27, Clinton, MS 39060, to the Nona G. Fortenberry Scholarship, Hinds Community College, P.O. Box 1100, Raymond, MS, 39153, or to the Nona G. Fortenberry Scholar, Copiah-Lincoln Community College, P.O. Box 649, Wesson, MS. 39191.