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July 7, 1971 ~ October 11, 2023 (age 52) 52 Years Old
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On October 11, 2023, we received a phone call from Costa Rica, Korby Vonzell Waters (AKA John Henry) had gained his wings unexpectedly at the tender age of 52. He was born on July 7th, 1971, in New Brunswick, NJ and was the youngest child born to Veronica Waters and Leardee Fortenberry.
Being the only left handed child of his mother, Korby was born to stand out from birth and he was the self-acclaimed favorite child. Korby spent his childhood years in New Brunswick and graduated from New Brunswick High School.
Korby always had a hunger to learn and took on Kung Fu to which he won many competitions. He also mastered the game of chess and became an avid player and traveled often to participate in competitions, which he won the majority of the time. He always carried a chess board with him wherever he went and was always quick to pull it out for a game with anyone he met. You would often find Korby on a park bench, at Panera Bread or on someone's porch playing chess with family, friends or strangers. Even in his losses, Korby always came out the winner because he learned from his mistakes and became an even better player.
Then, there was his love for pool, which was passed on to him from his father. Playing pool helped him focus and similar to chess, it allowed him to strategize. He was known to win a lot of games and visited his favorite pool hall on a daily basis. Korby always had a chess set and pool sticks in his car in case he ran into someone who wanted to test his skills.
Korby was intrigued by self-help books and read just about every self-help book ever written, which was the beginning of his journey to reinvention. He attended numerous self help seminars, made great connections and eventually acquired enough knowledge and experience to become a business coach, which is when Coach Korby was born.
Korby's pride and joy were his two children, Meshach & Azaliah of whom he spoke about to anyone who would listen. Even though they lived in Florida, he stole every opportunity he could find to spend time with them. Even when he received a simple "I miss you Daddy" - he would rearrange his schedule and book a flight. His kids have endless fond memories of him, especially their "movie nights" and their long facetime conversations about nothing. He was known by his children's friends as "Coach Dad" and was quick to sponsor a dinner with all of them whenever he visited. Korby was a very proud father and ensured he was present for each milestone in Meshach and Azaliah's lives.
Family was very important to Korby. You would often find him at his mother's house looking for a home cooked meal or pistachio cake, spending time with his siblings, nieces and nephews or his cousins. His love for house music was evident when you saw him on the dance floor at any event – he was a great dancer with an occasional surprise split. He enjoyed dinner dates and movies with his grandnieces and his children and would do anything for them.
Korby was predeceased by his father, Leardee Fortenberry; and brother, Marshall “Kash” Waters. He leaves on the shore of life: his children, Meshach and Azaliah; his mother, Veronica; sisters: Lenese, Teea, Casandra (Dana), Yolonda and Ashley; brothers: Leardee, Jr. (Katharine), James “Wiggie” (Gail), Brian, and Tryshaune (Lindsay); his girlfriend, Collette; former wife and mother of his children, Mona Lisa; and a host of other relatives and many friends.