Paul Fortino Jr., 87, of Midland, formerly of Mount Pleasant, passed away on Aug. 16, 2013, at the Toni and Trish Hospice in Auburn. Paul was born Oct. 6, 1925, in Durand, son of Paul Fortino Sr. and Julia (Fabiano) Fortino. The family moved to Mt. Pleasant in 1934.
Paul graduated from Sacred Heart in 1943, then attended one semester at MSU. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps from 1944-1946. Paul served with the 15th Air Force in Italy from 1944-1945, where he flew 20 sortie missions as a ball turret gunner on a B-27. Among the medals he received were the Air Medal, Oak Leaf Clusters, European Campaign Ribbon, and five Battle Stars. He took part in five major air battles. Paul returned home in 1946 and graduated from CMU in 1949. He began work at Fortino Beverage in 1949 and became a major partner in 1952.
Paul married Mary Catharine Allen in 1952 at St. Simons in Ludington. Together they had four children, Kathleen LaTulip, Pamela Fortino, Paul (Sheila Bentrum) Fortino, and Joseph Fortino. Also four grandchildren, Jenni (Nate) Kunik, Stefan LaTulip, Elizabeth Fortino, and Catharine Fortino; and one great-granddaughter, Reese Tulip Kunik.
Paul was president of Fortino Beverage until 1986 when he and his brother and partner, Victor, sold out and retired.
In retirement, Paul, along with wife Mary (until her death in 2002) spent 14 winters in Florida, and took over 40 trips covering the US/Canada, all of Europe, the Baltic states, Russia, England, Ireland, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Thailand.
Paul was a life member of the Moose, Elks, and V.F.W
., and belonged to CMU Chippewa Club and Presidents Circle.
Paul was preceded in death by both parents; brothers, Victor, Alfonso, Harry, and William; brothers-in-law, Roger Walker and Thomas Falsetta; and his son-in-law, Randy LaTulip. He is survived by his children and grandchildren; two sisters, Margaret Walker and Lillian Falsetta; brother-in-law, David Allen; sister-in-law, Ann (Harold) Betka; and many nieces and nephews.
Donations in Paul's memory may be offered to MidMichigan Hospice, the Toni and Trish House, or donor's favorite charity.
A memorial service for Paul will be held at Clark Family Funeral Chapel on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, at 11 a.m., with Fr. Loren Kalinowski officiating. The family will receive friends and family on Tuesday, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Clark Family Funeral Chapel, as well as the day of the service, from 10 a.m. until the time of service. Interment will follow in Calvary Cemetery.
You may view Paul's obituary online and send a condolence to the family, light a memorial candle, or place a memorial donation at www.clarkfuneralchapel.com