James Henry Cheeks, 73, of Chattanooga, passed away on Wednesday, September 20, 2023, at his residence.
He was born on Dec. 17, 1949, in Swiftown, Mississippi to James McLloyd Cheeks and Dora Lee Abraham. James graduated from Hamilton High School in Memphis, Tennessee in 1968. After graduation, he attended Chattanooga City College; which merged into the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga. James earned a bachelor’s degree in business. He continued in his father’s footsteps as a construction contractor and business owner; known for his skill and preciseness as a professional painter. James was a long time member of the World’s Church of the Living God.
He was preceded in death by his parents, James McLloyd Cheeks and Dora Lee Abraham; sister, Mary Cheeks; and three brothers, Walter Gibson, Verdal Gibson and Alex Fortney III.
Survivors include his wife of 51 years, Dorenda Marie Cheeks; three daughters, Tekita McKinney of Memphis, TN, Kisha Cheeks (Leyland) Rucker and Karmesha (Brain) Colbert, both of Chattanooga; two sons, Kevin (Patrice) Cheeks of Helena, AL and Kenneth Cheeks (Megan-fiancé) of Chattanooga; eleven grandchildren, Jasmyne, Amber, Moiya, Morris, Sydney, Meghan, Esmee, Daisy, Ava, Alvia and Alexandria; two god-grandchildren, Michelle and Maya; step-mother Lillie Ruth Cheeks of Memphis; step-father, Alex Fortney, Jr. of Memphis; eight brothers, James (Gwendolyn Joyce) Cheeks of Spotsylvania, VA, Morris Cheeks of Los Angeles, CA, Robert Cheeks of Charlotte, NC, Ricky Cheeks, Richard Cheeks, Limon Gibson, Charles Gibson, and Jack Abraham, all of Memphis; four sisters, Betty Wheeler, Joyce Mathis, Teresa Cheeks (Timothy) Wilson, and Faye Oliver, all of Memphis; two brothers-in-law, James (Deborah) Hammonds of Lebanon, TN and Claude (Lisa) Hammonds of Plano, TX; two sisters-in-law, Margie Hammonds of Huntsville, AL and Sandra Lawson of Madison, TN; a host of nieces; nephews; and cousins; other relatives and friends. The family expresses heartfelt gratitude for his caregivers, Dana Dunsmore, Erica Kelley, Ponda Gibson, Kellye Harrington, Johnnie Watkins, and Megan Owens-Richards.
James will lie in state on Wednesday, Sept. 27, from 12:30-5 p.m. at Taylor Funeral Home.
Funeral services will be on Thursday, Sept. 28, at 1 p.m. in the chapel with Pastor Allan Harrington as the eulogist. Burial will be in Lakewood Memory Gardens, East.