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Deacon Willa Lee "Willie" Fortney Cheatham
Birth: Jan. 12, 1917
Dougherty County
Georgia, USA
Death: May 28, 1993
Union County
New Jersey, USA

Thanks and Blessings to all who visit my mother's site! If you would be so kind, please leave a token for her. She is deeply loved and missed and your kind remembrances provide comfort. Thank you.

Willa Lee Cheatham (born "Willie" but changed by northern teachers)was born on January 12, 1917 to the late William Rufus Fortney and the late Rose Verdell Anderson in Albany, Georgia. She departed this life on Friday evening, May 28, 1993.

Willa was educated in the Bloomfield and Newark School Systems (NJ), attending Central High School. She was employed by the Mansol and Jergens Corporations in Belleville, NJ for many years. In later years she worked as a Belleville School Crossing Guard.

At an early age, Willa accepted Christ as her Savior and was baptized by the late C.T. Wilcher at the Bethsaida Baptist Church in Newark, NJ. She was an active member of the Youth Choir, the Usher Board, and the Baptist Training Union.

Willa was married to the late William Edward Cheatham, Sr. on January 8, 1941, and they made their home in Belleville, NJ. Their union was blessed with five children - William Edward, Jr., Wilma Joyce, Julia, Sandra Ann, and Patricia Elaine.

In 1945, Willa joined the Second Baptist Church under the pastorate of the late Rev. H.E. Goldston, where she served faithfully as a Deaconess, Senior Choir member, and in the Willing Workers. She later moved her membership to the Messiah Baptist Church in East Orange, NJ under the pastorate of the Rev. Harry L. Batts where she served as a Deaconess until she became ill. She took great pride in preparing sumptuous dinners for visiting ministers and their families, and meticulously washing the Communion linens and gloves. Willa often sang on "afternoon church programs" with her husband William, the hymn "I SURRENDER ALL." She also sang on several "Mother and Daughter Tea" events with her daughter Sandra, the hymn "IN THE GARDEN."

A devoted wife and mother, Willa will be loved and remembered by all for her desire to serve those in need and for her love of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Deaconess Willa Lee Cheatham was indeed a living testimony and the complete embodiment of the power of God's love for all. Predeceased by Deacon William Edward Cheatham, Sr., her loving husband of 50 years, she leaves to cherish her memory, a son, William Edward Cheatham, Jr. (Sheryl), of Newark, NJ, four daughters, Wilma Joyce Cheatham, Patricia Elaine Cheatham, both of Fanwood, NJ, Julia Kelly (David), of Irvington, NJ, and Sandra Ann Cheatham, of Stone Mountain, Ga.; seven grandchildren, Alisha R. Kelly, Tracy E. Kelly, David Kelly, Jr., Edward Cheatham, Brandon Cheatham, Terrance Cheatham, Tiffany J. Grevious, one great-grandchild, Jeffery A. Kelly; two sisters, Mrs. Irene Neal and Mrs. Alice Johnson, both of Newark, NJ, one brother, Matthew Fortney, of Newark, NJ, and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. Willa's "Home Going Service" was held on Thursday, June 3, 1993, 11:00 A.M. at the Messiah Baptist Church, 13-17 Oak St., East Orange, NJ. The Rev. Harry L. Batts, pastor, officiated.

"And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them."
Revelation 14:13

Crossing the Bar

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep

Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For though from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.

Deacons and Trustees of Messiah Baptist Church

The family of Willa L. Cheatham acknowledges with deep appreciation all acts of kindness extended to them during this bereavement hour. God bless you all for your thoughtfulness and concern.

Family and friends were invited to return to the Fellowship Hall of the Messiah Baptist Church for a repast immediately following the interment.

*~*Special love and thanks to "With Love, Caprice" for sponsoring this memorial for my beloved mother. May you be eternally blessed for your generous spirit, expressions of love, support and comfort! Blessings!*~*

Family links: 
  William Edward Cheatham (1910 - 1991)
  Wilma Joyce Cheatham (1946 - 2000)*
*Calculated relationship
Graceland Memorial Park
Union County
New Jersey, USA
Created by: Sandi Cheatham
Record added: Sep 05, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 58240525
Deacon Willa Lee Willie <i>Fortney</i> Cheatham
Added by: Sandi Cheatham
Deacon Willa Lee Willie <i>Fortney</i> Cheatham
Added by: Sandi Cheatham
Deacon Willa Lee Willie <i>Fortney</i> Cheatham
Added by: Sandi Cheatham
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