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Fortunaso, Joe

February 13, 2024

JOSEPH “JOE” ANTONIO FORTUNASO, of Lethbridge, beloved husband of the late Eda Fortunaso, passed away peacefully at St. Michael’s Health Centre – Palliative Care Unit, on Tuesday, February 13, 2024 at the age of 97 years.

The family of Joe Fortunaso sadly announce his passing 2 months before the celebration of his 98th birthday. He has now joined his loving wife, Eda, who predeceased him in 2013.

He is survived by his three daughters Gail (Douglas), Terri (Gary), Lois (Alan), his 6 grandchildren Leanna, Lori, Scott, Julie, Allison, and Aron and 8 great grandchildren, the youngest just 7 months old.

Joe was born and raised in Bellevue, with his 2 older brothers Austin and Eddie, by his mother Stephanie, his father Joe, and later his stepfather Rudy. All boys enlisted in the military to serve overseas; Joe was too young and was not sent to Europe. He served in Canada, and was training to become a pilot when the war ended. Returning home to the CNP, he met a young lady from Natal B.C. who became the love of his life. They married in 1948 and began their family the following year.

As a young man he was actively engaged in the CNP mining community, a successful entrepreneur, business man, and community participant. He raised his family in Bellevue, within the rich cultural environment of the CNP. He was blessed with a wonderful singing voice; he was athletic and a fine fisherman. He was known for his numerous business ventures and community contributions.

In 1978, with a spirit of adventure, he and Eda took up residency in Kona, Hawaii. They embedded themselves in to the community, the church and Joe became known as a prize-winning fisherman with his boat and fishing partners. He supported Eda in her desire to teach English as a second language and together, developed their acreage into orchards of fruit and macadamia nut trees, He designed a table top nut cracker that drew the attention of the Department of Agriculture on the island of Hawaii.

In 1988, they returned to the main land taking up residence close to Lois, Alan, Allison, and Aron in California. With his passion for the sport, Joe was able to golf with his family and friends. He was golfing with his brother Eddie when the San Francisco big earthquakes occurred. He loved to tease and play with his grandchildren. He was an active member of the Hollister Italian society, and active in their church, supporting immigrants and homeless in the community.

Three years later, Joe and Eda moved north and returned to Canada. They settled in Duncan B.C. drawing them close to their siblings and enjoying a reunion of brothers and sisters, in their senior years. He again became active in the church, enjoyed golfing with his brother-in-law Joe, and brother Eddie and on special occasions with his nephews Bob and Rick. They enjoyed special times with sister Lea, brother Reno, Marlene, and their children Susan, Steven, Michael, Bob, Cathy, Carol, and their families.

Completing a circle of worldly journeys, they returned to the CNP and their roots. Joe built the same house he built in California but expanded it to sit prominently on his lovely acreage. Again, he became interested in local politics, the golf club and the new build of the Holy Trinity Church. He lived close to Gail, Douglas, Leanne, Lori, and families. He enjoyed a land venture with them, other community and family events and shared a deep love for family pets. Daughter Terri had moved to the CNP to support both aging parents. Following Eda’s passing, Joe continued his interests, hobbies and travels to Terri and Gary’s acreage enjoying the lake, the animals and Gary’s golf course. Family gatherings were common with Scott, Julie, and families.

Joe’s last exciting venture was to rebuild a Ford 1935 truck. All who knew Joe, knew this was his dream. Joe was a true Ford man. His grandson Scott is attempting to complete this project in memory of “Nono.”

In his elderly years, Joe generously donated many of his possessions to the CNP Community, and those in need, including a Ukrainian refugee family. He moved to Lethbridge with his daughter Terri, continued to play golf, developing a new social network. He loved watching the wildlife and golfers from his patio lounge chair. He was blessed with close friends Larry, Deb, Bill, and Bell and extended family Rob, Colleen and family.

Joe lived a long, adventurous, and happy life. His deep blue eyes and smile demonstrated the joy he found in each day.

The family is appreciative of the healthcare teams inclusive of all who helped him through challenging times. This includes those in the CNP, Homecare (Lethbridge), the Lethbridge Paramedic Team and the Palliative Care Unit.

flowers are kindly declined asking a donation to be made to a charity of your choice.

Thank you to Cornerstone for the kind and compassionate care respectfully given to Joe in his last journey on earth.

At Joe’s request, no funeral service will be held.