Milford Roy Fortenberry passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family and a close friend, on April 10, 2023. He loved the Lord and his family.
Milford was born to the late Aaron and Willine (Pittman) Fortenberry on November 19, 1946, in Tylertown, MS. He was the middle child of three children. 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 Company in the Oral/Dexter community of Walthall County, MS. 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 three hundred 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 forty years in the car and tractor business, he always felt fortunate to have shared mutual respect with the people he worked with. He had recently announced his retirement on April 30, 2023. Co-workers, customers, friends, and family were planning a celebration dedicated to him. Outside of work, he enjoyed spending time with his family and friends.
Milford was preceded in death by his loving wife of 32 years, Collette Sue Sartin Fortenberry. His parents, Aaron and Willine Fortenberry, and one sister Mrs. 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, Texas, and Carman Fortenberry of Gainesville, TX. Ten 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 Grand Children: Bryce Fortenberry and Barrett Fortenberry. Sister: Jacquelyn (Victor) Fortenberry Johnson of Hernando, MS. Sister-in-Law: Judy Pat Sartin (Late J.W.) Brumfield of Terry, MS. Loving cousins, nieces, nephews, and a host of friends: Andy (Melissa) Dillon, Michelle (Jason) Allen, Tiffany (Jason) Ketchum
He was a member of Raymond Baptist Church in Raymond, MS, and Oral Missionary Baptist Church in Tylertown, MS. Pallbearers are Dr. Andy Dillon, Aaron Fortenberry, Aubrey Fortenberry, Austin Churchill, Avery Fortenberry, Caeden Fortenberry, and Mason Fortenberry
The Fortenberry Family would like to extend their appreciation and gratitude to the Glenn Polk Auto Group Family and their loyal customers.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Cooke County Hope Alliance or Oral Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery Committee.
The only time I enjoyed buying a vehicle was when he sold me a new pick up. Such a nice man and a great salesman. God Bless all of you
Milford was a cousin and I have fond memories of him. He kept all the school bus riders entertained. Always had a smile.
Thinking of y’all! Prayer and loving thoughts for your family!❤️❤️
Lisa, Marti, Bayli, & Ben
So Sorry about the loss of your Dad, for I know how your heart is Aching, I lost my Dad in 2020, Prayers ???? continued for You Shawn & Andy and the the Rest of your family,I send Hugs&Kisses to you all
Sorry for your loss, he was a great man and friend.
Very sorry to learn of Milford’s passing. Condolences to his family.
Milford was a gentle giant of a classmate of whom I had respect for due to his work ethic. It was so good to visit with him at our class reunion and hear his deep Southern drawl tell the story of meeting “a little feller” by the name of George Clooney. I am deeply saddened to hear of his passing, but look forward to meeting him “up there” and being in good health to laugh again
Attended Miss. State with him-a joy to be around
Great Guy who will be sadly missed!
Our sincere condolences. Milford truly was larger than life with a heart of gold.
Thank you for the laughs & the smiles Mr Fortenberry. I will truly miss our weekly visits at the cleaners. You were a true blessing in my life.
Kelly (& family) I am so sorry for your loss. I love you girlie.
Milford was one of kind. I have never met anyone like him. He had a way with words and a gift to connect with all types of people. He was authentic and REAL and I appreciated that about him. You will be missed my friend. Keep that smile on your face because you are going to a better place that full of joy.
My condolences to the Fortenberry Family. His subtle smile will be missed.
Prayers for the family!
Upon hearing of Milford’s passing I was immediately saddened. My eyes started watering. Milford always made me laugh and smile! He had a work ethic that most will never know or understand. Such a genuinely good man. He loved his wife, children, and family fiercely. I loved that he always talked about his wife, even though she was gone. Every single time he talked about her his whole face would light up, and he’d get a twinkle in his eyes. I always though to myself, what a LOVE that must be. He’d tell you he was never perfect in life, but I’ll tell you he always had good intentions. I’ll NEVER forget all the stories. He’d have me in tears from laughing. Always put a smile on people’s faces. I always thought …..if Milford ever owned a PUB, he’d call it the “Pretty Lady”……. You’d have to hear his excited holler to understand. Sometimes there are people in this life that make the world a better place, and I wholeheartedly believe Milford was one these people. Milford loved people! He never judged others. Everyone was on fair ground with him, and I admired this about him. The world will never be the same without Milford. I can only image the look on Collettes face upon being reunited. Milford would say she’s got her arms wide open, but might also thump him on the head. Forever keeping Milford’s spirit alive and honoring his memory.
Prayers of strength, peace, and comfort for the entire Fortenberry family throughout this difficult journey. Thank you for sharing your Milford with us!
I bought several trucks from Milford and will never forget buying the first one from him and him asking if I had found a truck I liked on the lot. I said yes and he said go out there and get the stock number and bring it to him and he would work me up a deal. Who else in sales could ask the customer to do that but Milford. I loved it! I would stop by the dealership occasionally just to visit with him and hug his neck and in in turn he would call and check on me from time to time. I will truly miss him and his stories and saying “ well looky here” when you walked up. Milford was a wonderful man.
We, bought several trucks and a tractor from him. He was such a great person . I would not go to any other saleman. He will be missed.
So saddened to hear about the passing of our friend, Milford Fortenberry. Our family absolutely adored Milford. He was a sweet, gentle, funny and caring man. He will be missed by so many left behind. Prayers for his family and friends. Hope heaven is all you ever dreamed it would be. Rest in Peace. Misty, Brandon, Dayton, Alyssa and Noah Colwell.
Milford, a cousin, was born and raised in our community. He was a hardworking man all of his life. He offered me a job once, but I had just taken a position with another employer that day. A one-of-a-kind original character with a charasmatic personality. RIP Milford, as you are united with your greatest supporters, Cousin Aaron & Willene Pittman Fortenberry.
I can’t believe he is gone. My best times were spent with Milford selling cars in Jackson ms.