It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Laura M. Forleo on Thur. March 5, 2020 after a long battle with kidney cancer. Laura was born on Nov 12, 1953 in the Brazilian city of Juiz de Fora located in the mountains about two hours northwest of Rio. Her parents were Lydia and Moyses Oliveira now both deceased.
At 17 Laura won an American Field Service opportunity to become an exchange student in the United States. Laura was placed in the small city of Salisbury, MD on the eastern shore where she was embraced by her new American family. Thus began an amazing long term relationship with Bill and Emily Briddell and their four children, Becky, Paige, Donna and Bryan. This relationship was to last up to Laura's passing.
After her year in America, Laura briefly attended university and then passed the prestigious national exam for a position in the Bank of Brasil. She began a 20 year career in the bank making lifelong friends among her colleagues. She married Cid Forleo and gave birth to her son Marcio in 1985. In spite of their comfortable life in Brasilia, the Forleos decided to come to America in 1995 to seek better educational opportunities for their son.
Unfortunately, after less than two years in America, Laura's husband was diagnosed with liver cancer and subsequently passed away, leaving Laura with a young son alone in an often harsh environment. Embracing her long interest in health care, Laura studied nursing at the Florida Hospital School of Nursing. She graduated with top honors and was the first international student in the history of the school.
Laura spent the next 20 years in various nursing positions at Florida Hospital finishing up her career as head of Care Coordination for the Urology Group in the Florida Cancer Institute. Laura, having been raised in Brazil as a Methodist, became an active member of St. Luke United Methodist Church in Windermere. She participated enthusiastically in the mission efforts of the church. Missions was her passion. She said, "Mission brought me to the church and mission kept me there." She crowned her mission work with at trip to Ethiopia with a Florida Hospital team.
Sadly Laura was diagnosed with kidney cancer at age 62. In spite of her illness, she and Richard McFadyen were married on May 27, 2017. Laura and Richard were able to travel widely to the Grand Canyon, Brazil twice, Colorado, Portugal and even Turkey with a group of Brazilian friends from her days at the bank.
Laura loved movies, little children, especially little girls, parties, murder mysteries on TV but most of all her friends. Her incredible smile and warmth enthralled all who met her. Her glowing personality will be greatly missed.
She is survived by her husband Richard McFadyen, her son Marcio Forleo and daughter-in-law Jacaklyn Forleo, step-father Wagner and her adopted American family the Briddell's.
Laura's memorial service has been postponed for the time being due to the Covid-19 Virus. Please visit www.degusipe.com
for updated Memorial Service information.
A memorial gift may be made to the Capital Mission Endowment Fund at St. Luke United Methodist Church, 4851 S. Apopka-Vineland Rd., Orlando Fl. 32819
To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store
Published by Orlando Sentinel from Mar. 18 to Mar. 19, 2020.