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Welcome to the memorial page for

Thelma D. Forte

June 6, 1933 ~ September 10, 2017 (age 84)

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September 17, 2017

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
5050 Federal Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92102

Funeral Service
September 18, 2017

12:00 PM
Christian Fellowship Congregational Church
1601 Kelton Rd.
San Diego, CA 92114

A Portrait of a Beautiful Lady Celebration of Life

THELMA DELORIS ARMSTRONG was born June 6, 1933 in St. Joseph (St. Jo), Louisiana to the union of Phillip Harry Armstrong and Rosa Alice Long. Early in life, Thelma accepted Christ as her personal Savior and was baptized. She attended Sunday School, BTU and sang in the church choir. In 1952, Thelma graduated from Madison Parish Training School in Louisiana. While in high school, Thelma was a “standout”, leading the band as a majorette. Even though she was a little shy, leadership and strength were strong points of her personality. Being recognized for her outstanding performance and academic achievement, Thelma was offered a scholarship to Grambling State University. However, attending Grambling was not in her plans. After high school, Thelma and her Aunt Winnie Jones decided to enroll in Tyler Barber and Beauty College in Jackson, Mississippi.

While in Jackson, Thelma met and married the love of her life, Henry Forte. Their union was blessed with three beautiful children: Donald, Gregory and Brenda.

In 1957, looking for a better life than what the South offered, Henry and a few friends moved to San Diego, California to achieve the America dream. Shortly thereafter, traveling on the Southern Pacific Railway, Thelma and her good friend, Shirley, along with their babies joined their husbands.  She attended the Christian Fellowship Congregational Church until her health began to deteriorate. She truly loved the Lord. 

Thelma was industrious, hardworking and intelligent. Shortly after arriving to San Diego, she began working at the distinguished El Cortez Hotel and later with Terrace Convalescent Home. In 1969, Thelma began employment at the Broadway Department Store. After twenty-five years of exemplary service, Thelma retired as Department Manager over several departments. She excelled as a sales person as she was designated “Employee of the Month”.

Thelma was a wonderful and loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend. She loved her family unconditionally and they dearly loved her. She took great pride in everything she did and family was always first. She provided her family with a wonderful home, home cooked meals and plenty of love. Thelma, who was a mother to so many, was always willing to help others in need. She made you feel comfortable and was easy to talk to and had a lot of wisdom. She also had a wonderful sense of humor that brought much joy and laughter to many. She will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.

On Sunday, September 10, 2017 at 6:53 P.M, Thelma Deloris Forte, while surrounded by her family, peacefully departed this life to be with the Lord. She was preceded in death by her son, Donald Ray Forte; her mother, Rosa Alice Crawford; father, Phillip Harry Armstrong; four brothers, Willie Webb Jr., Henry Armstrong, Garrett Armstrong and Phillip Armstrong Jr. 

She leaves to cherish her memory: her loving husband of sixty years, Henry Forte; son, Gregory Forte; daughter, Brenda Forte Pierce all of San Diego, CA; daughter-in-law, Phyllis Forte of Los Angeles, CA; nine sisters, Hattie M. Riley of Pine Bluff, AR; Jackie Tyus of Los Angeles, CA, Lucille Jasper of Pine Bluff, AR, Susie Hampton (Bobbie) of Chicago, IL, Cleora Johnson and Nancy Smith both of St. Jo, LA, Janet Armstrong of Las Vegas, NV, Mable Bradley of New Orleans and LA, Loubertha Jenkins of Yakima, WA; six brothers, Charles Crawford Jr. (Louisa) of Pine Bluff, AR, Oliver Armstrong of Georgia, Johnny Armstrong of Chicago, IL, Ernest Armstrong (Linda) of Georgia, Charles Armstrong (Leilani) of Baton Rouge, LA and Roosevelt Armstrong (Glenda) of Dallas, TX; four grandchildren, Keisha Forte, Deontae Forte, Preston Pierce and Bryana “Breezy” Lewis; and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.

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