Doctor Fortunato Joseph Padua passed away peacefully on Thursday, October 3, 2013 with family members by his side. The son of Fortunato Padua and Margaret O'Sullivan Peterson, Dr. Padua married Virginia Mary Lumetta with whom he had his loving children Charmagne A., Kevin, Fortunato Jr., Sharon, David and Eric Padua. He is survived by his beloved grandchildren Jennifer, Natasha, Fortunato Gabriel, Lauren and Harley Padua, Sonia Rose Bogolubov and his beloved sisters Margaret, Carmen and Mary as well as his extended family. In passing away, he joins his beloved son Kevin, brother Raymond, sister Patricia and his parents. A lifelong New Orleanian born on August 13, 1929, Dr. Padua graduated from Jesuit High School, Loyola University and LSU Medical School, which he attended on scholarships, before serving in the United States Navy Medical Corps as a Lieutenant aboard the U.S.S. Mount McKinley during the Korean War. Dr. Padua grew up during the Depression as a child of the Catholic Church under the loving care of Sister Margaret Mary of Saints Peter and Paul Church, where he served as an altar boy and played basketball. In his practice, Dr. Padua honored Sister Margaret Mary's memory and kindness by giving free medical care to nuns and the clergy. In 1956, Dr. Padua became one of the first practicing physicians in Jefferson Parish when he opened his office in Kenner after beginning his career in general medicine and surgery with his mentor Dr. James Nix. He was beloved by his patients for the attentive care he provided and his generosity in waiving medical fees for those in need. Dr. Padua took joy in delivering many babies and providing public service throughout his career. He volunteered with Dr. Alton Ochsner to administer some of the first polio vaccines. He was one of the first physicians on the scene tending to victims of the 1967 plane crash near Moisant Airport (now New Orleans International) and never passed the scene of an accident without offering assistance. Dr. Padua loved to paint and sing. His beloved French Quarter was a frequent subject of his paintings done while listening to New Orleans jazz, Edith Piaf, classical and opera music. He played piano and sang in church choirs including those of St. Clement of Rome and St. Charles Avenue Presbyterian Church. Dr. Padua was also an avid student of art, history, languages and music. He loved children and enjoyed telling them stories from memory or imagination. In keeping with his faith, Dr. Padua encouraged those in difficulty to "offer their suffering to God" in seeking His grace and forgiveness. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, October 8th, 2013 at Lake Lawn Funeral Home (5100 Pontchartrain Boulevard, New Orleans) with visitation beginning at 10:00 AM followed by a Requiem Mass at 12:00 noon and internment in Metairie Cemetery at 1:00 PM. To sign and view the Family Guestbook, please visit www.lakelawnmetairie.com.
Published in TheNewOrleansAdvocate.com from Oct. 5 to Oct. 6, 2013