July 13, 1958 – April 28, 2022
Bobby Donestra Artis, Sr., peacefully went home to be with the Lord, on Thursday, April 28, 2022, at 12:01 AM. Bobby was born July 13, 1958, to Ersue Artis and John Russell Fennell in Ahoskie North Carolina.
Bobby was a graduate of Petersburg High School, Class of 1977. After completing Petersburg High, Bobby enlisted in the United States Army where he traveled across the United States and abroad serving his country.
His spiritual walk with the Lord lead him to use his melodious voice to sing with several churches and choirs, such as the Mount Olivet Mass Choir, Tabernacle Mass Choir, The Psalms of Vision, Tabernacle Male Chorus, Gospel Music Workshop of America Petersburg and Vicinity Chapter (where he served as Assistant Chapter Representative), The Inspirations of Tabernacle, The Voices of Elite and the Friendship Gospel Chorale; just to name a few.
Bobby loved to attend the GMWA conventions; traveling to many destinations. He sang with the National Recording Mass Choir. After becoming Assistant Chapter Representative emeritus, Bobby continued his travels; falling in love with Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Bobby was employed throughout his life with many organizations such as Builders Supply, U.S. Army Reserve, Hunton & Williams Law Firm, Target and the J. M. Wilkerson Funeral Establishment, Inc. where he was an Insurance Claims Specialist until his passing.
Bobby loved serving the community through the J M Wilkerson Funeral Establishment, Inc. He tried to help everyone as much as he could. He participated in several fashion shows in the Tri-Cities Area. He also tried his hand in acting starring in an original stage play entitled, “Grandma Knows Better”.
Bobby loved his family, friends, and his church family, but most of all God.
Bobby was preceded in death by his parents, Willie T. Jones, Sr. and Ersue A. Williams, and John Russell Fennell and along with four sisters and three brothers.
Bobby leaves to cherish his memories: three sons, Bobby D. Artis, Jr., Donestra Pierre Artis (Shaneika) and Terrance Artis (Jasmine); eight grandchildren, Sema’j J. Wilson, Donovan E. Artis, Kamryn M. Artis, Zy’Miere P. Artis, Skyler M. Artis, Karter A. Artis, Omarie and Josiah Artis; twenty-two siblings, Sarah Faye Velazquez (Edwin) of Norfolk, VA, Dalephine Ricks (Larry) of Portsmouth, VA, Ray Artis III (Wanda) of Norfolk, VA, Gladys Webb of Prince George, Clyde Hicks of New York, Connie Hope (Alvin) of Richmond, VA, Ricky Jones of Dinwiddie VA, Steven Jones (Maria) of South Prince George, VA, Charmaine Sedgwick of Waldorf, MD, Bridget McMullen, Nadine Williams and Everard Jones all of Petersburg, VA, Pamela Brown of Colonial Heights, VA, Shirley Artis Fennell, Essie Artis, Mae Artis, Ida Artis Joyner, John Artis, Jr., Randolph Artis, Christopher Artis and O’Neal Artis all of North Carolina; one uncle, Leroy Wiggins and three aunts, Otelia Willis, Florine Pearson all of North Carolina and Gladys Smith of New York; god-sister, Erica Singleton (Damon); and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and devoted friends.
Services of love and remembrance will be held 6:00 P.M., Saturday, May 7, 2022, at Tabernacle Baptist Church, 418 Halifax Street, Petersburg, VA, the Rev. Dr. Robert A. Diggs, Sr., Pastor, officiating. The interment will be private.
Public viewing for Mr. Artis will be held Friday, from 9:00 A.M. until 8:00 P.M. at the funeral establishment. Viewing will also be held from 4:00 P.M. until 5:45 P.M. the day of the services at the church.
Family members are asked to assemble at 5:30 P.M., the day of the service at the Tabernacle Baptist Church Family Life Center. All past and present choir members that have sung with Mr. Artis in any capacity are asked to assemble also at 5:30 P.M. at the church and wear black.
In lieu of floral arrangements and food items, please make your financial gift to the Tabernacle Baptist Church Building Fund in loving memory of Bobby D. Artis, Sr. or to the college educational fund of his loving grandchildren.