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Featured Obituary: Willie Printup
Deacon Willie "Bobby" Printup

The homegoing for Deacon Willie “Bobby” Printup, 77, will be held in style Saturday as family, friends and members of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, including Wynton Marsalis, gather to celebrate the life and legacy of the man who was a bedrock to the community and to his family.

Printup was born March 14, 1935 and passed away on February 5, 2013. 

The father of four was man of dignity and pride who loved the Lord. He joined the Peeks Chapel Baptist church at an early age and was active in the church until his health failed. He was a proud Deacon, Male Chorus member, trustee and served as the Chairman of the Deacon Board.

Printup was a loving man who believed in hard work. He worked for 36 years at C&D Power Associates as a head lead caster and worked at the Porterdale Cotton Mills before that. He retired in 2001 and then worked for the city of Conyers as a school crossing guard until his health failed in 2004. In his 36 years at C&D Power, he was late only once. That was because there was a lightning storm that caused a power outage. After work that day he went to purchase an alarm clock with a battery pickup and was never late again. 

In 1961, he met the love of his life, Annie Floyd (Tuggle) Printup. They were married the following year. At home, he would walk around the house singing, whistling and saying "Thank you Jesus." One of his favorite hymns to sing was "A Charge to Keep I Have, A God to Glorify." He loved old gospel and R&B music (James Brown, Charles Brown, James Cleveland). 

Though he didn’t study music, Printup was a master of note singing, said his son Marcus Printup. “My dad, he had that soul and that rhythm passed down from his father.” His musical sense was so sharp that even during the years where Alzheimer’s robbed his memory of many things, he could still pick out which version of Charles Brown’s rendition “Please Come Home for Christmas” the family had owned years before.

Printup also loved working in his garden and ploughed with a mule until his teenage years. “When he first got a tractor, he had a field day,” said Marcus.

He loved his wife’s soulfood meals. His favorite bible verse after saying grace was, "Jesus wept." He adored children and always went out of his way to make people laugh and feel good. He was also chosen as an honorary member of the Rockdale County Sheriff's club. 

In 2006, Alzheimer's disease started to take over Mr. Printup’s life. Over the last seven years, he fought the good fight as he struggled with the effects of the disease.

His family said they were proud of him and celebrated his strength to endure his pain and suffering. "We also celebrate his beautiful soul making the transition to be with the Lord,” they wrote. “No more suffering. No more pain. Only joy and eternal happiness. Thank you for everything Daddy. We will miss you but we know you are up in heaven with your maker. We love you. Rest.”

Printup leaves behind to mourn a devoted wife Mrs. Annie Floyd Printup; daughter Angela Denise Forte; son and daughter-in-law Marcus and Riza Printup; daughter and son-in-law Susie and Bobby Gibbs; daughter Anita Hamp Barber; siblings Dorothy Martin, Connie Printup, Horace Printup, James and Brunella Printup, Ernest “Peck” and Velma Printup; a host of brothers and sister-in-laws and a great host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and many friends. He was preceded in death by his parents James Claude Printup and Ruth Mae Giles Printup and sister Willie Geneva Printup.

The funeral will be held Saturday noon, Feb. 9, 2013 at Peek's Chapel Baptist Church. 3185 Old Salem Road Conyers, Georgia 30013. The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra will likely perform at the funeral. His son, trumpeter Marcus Printup, is a member of the 15-piece world-renowned orchestra, led by Wynton Marsalis. Marcus Printup said the orchestra members will be driving in from Tallahassee.

Funeral arrangements are being handled through Levett & Sons Funeral Home. Flowers can be sent to Levett & Sons, 1041 Bryant Street NW, Conyers, GA 30012 or Peeks Chapel Baptist, 3185 Old Salem Road, Conyers, GA 30013.