Uriah Fortson is a winner of the “Achieving Greatness Through Choices” Black History essay contest at the Charles M. Finley Recreation Center in East Mt. Airy/West Oak Lane. The contest concluded on the last Saturday in February, Black History Month. But since Black History is a critical part of American History, and so is important anytime, NewsWorks will run each winner’s piece here. Below is Uriah’s complete essay.
Even though my grandfather Roy is gone, I believe he was a wonderful person. He was a sheriff, father, and a husband. Unfortunately he didn’t live to see his grandchildren. But I try not to think about that too much, but my family does.
He was born Roy Fortson Jr. on March 12, 1947 in Philadelphia to Maeyonia Fortson and Roy Fortson Sr. He grew up with his older sister Mea. When he grew older he went to school and studied in criminal justice and later became a deputy sheriff for the Police Association.
Life as a sheriff for my grandfather was a dream. He loved his job. Unfortunately, while doing his job trying to stop a robbery he was shot and killed at the age of 34. He was the first sheriff killed in the line of duty. He left behind a family when he died.
He helped me to be a better person, by helping people when he stopped a robbery.
He was a very important person to my mom and dad, his wife and me, and we are all proud of him for the steps he took in life. My grandfather was the most influential person to me. If he was still living I would give him all my respect, and all the rest of the family would too.
So this is the life of my grandfather. I am very glad to present my essay to you. We will love and miss him.
Official memorial information for Sheriff Roy Fortson.
A photograph of Sheriff Roy Fortson plus memorial information.