Jerrell Elizabeth Fortenberry Jeffers, 87, died peacefully on Sunday, February 28, 2016, at Trinity Grove nursing home in Wilmington.
Born on July 13, 1928, in Cleveland County, the daughter of the late Laura Ettie Smith Fortenberry and Robert Bruce Fortenberry, she was preceded in death by her sisters; Mary Sue Fortenberry Sweezy and Annette Fortenberry Kendrick; and brother, Robert Edd Fortenberry.
Jerry married the late Dwight Norman Jeffers on August 21, 1949, and together they lived in Gastonia, Salisbury, Greensboro and, finally, Wilmington. They both loved Wilmington and, upon moving there, Jerry followed Dwight’s urging to learn to play golf and became a regular on Ladies’ Day at Pine Valley Country Club, as well as enjoying countless rounds of golf together with Dwight and other couples, not only at Pine Valley, but on their infamous golf trips.
Jerry was a member of Wesley Memorial Methodist Church and the Wesley Fellowship Sunday School class. An active participant and volunteer at many church functions, her favorite was the annual BBQ supper sponsored by the Sunday school class, at which her coleslaw was always in demand.
Surviving are her daughter, Rebecca Jeffers Sherrod (Becky), and her husband, Marty; and son, Robert David Jeffers (Bobby), and his wife, Candace; and five grandchildren, Matt, Harrison, McKinley, Quentin and Leah. She was preceded in death by a grandson, Davey. She is survived by three great-grandchildren, Rustyn, Kendra and Oliver.
She is also survived by Kitty, a stray feral cat who adopted Jerry and gradually went from being an untamed outdoor cat to being a full-time indoor cat. Although Dwight was the first love of her life, Kitty was the last love of her life and the focus of her world.
The family would like to thank Wanda Ashley and Mary Ann Lewis for helping care for Kitty while Jerry was at Trinity Grove.
The family would also like to thank everyone at Trinity Grove nursing home for the wonderful support and care given to Jerry during her time there. In addition, they are especially grateful to her sitter, Ronia Burney, and Trinity Grove administrator, John Frye.
A funeral service was held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, March 2, at Wesley Memorial Church, 1401 S. College Road, Wilmington, NC, with visitation preceding the service at 10 a.m. at the church. Burial followed immediately in Oleander Memorial Gardens.
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