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March 22, 1925 – July 13, 2014

Joseph D. Forti, a World War II veteran and longtime community volunteer, died unexpectedly Sunday in his Hamburg home. He was 89.

Mr. Forti’s parents immigrated from Italy and settled in North Evans, raising a large family on a farm.

He graduated from Eden Central High School and later served with Gen. George Patton’s 3rd Army during World War II.

For 38 years, he worked at Bethlehem Steel in various positions, including crane operator, boiler operator and coke oven worker. He retired in 1982.

After retirement, Mr. Forti was involved in many charitable organizations, including Catholic Charities and the Holy Name Society.

He also volunteered in the soup kitchen at St. Vincent de Paul, was a bingo caller for St. Mary of the Lake, coached Hamburg Little League Baseball, and drove the Town of Hamburg senior van.

He was active in the groundwork initiatives to receive buses for St. Mary of the Lake School.

Mr. Forti was a firefighter at North Evans Volunteer Fire Company. He served as president for Eden High School Alumni and was past commander of Post 1419, Veterans of Foreign Wars, in Hamburg.

His wife of 37 years, Genevieve Godios Forti, died in 1987.

Survivors include a son, Joseph; three daughters, MaryAnn Janczak, Roxanne Romero and Theresa Lauria; a brother, James; eight grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. today in St. Mary of the Lake Church, 4737 Lake Shore Road, Hamburg.