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Francis J. Fortunato, communication officer for Niagara Falls police

Jan. 8, 1932 – Sept. 19, 2015

NIAGARA FALLS – Francis J. “Frank” Fortunato, of Niagara Falls, retired chief communication officer for the Niagara Falls Police Department, died Saturday in Mount St. Mary’s Hospital, Lewiston, after a lengthy illness. He was 83.

Born in Niagara Falls, he was a 1949 graduate of Trott Vocational High School. He served in the Army during the Korean War and was stationed in Alaska. In 1980, he received a degree in labor relations from Cornell Cooperative Extension.

Mr. Fortunato was a construction worker on the New York State Power Project. During the 1970s, he owned and operated Superior Television Repair. He went on to become a communication technician at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station before joining the Niagara Falls Police Department.

He served 21 years as chief communication officer before retiring.

He was active in the Police Athletic Club and ran the Niagara Falls Policemen’s Credit Union, continuing to work there after retiring from the Police Department.

He was a troop leader for his sons in Boy Scout Troop 810 for many years and led many camping trips to Canada. An avid outdoorsman, he enjoyed hunting, fishing and boating. He also competed in several bowling leagues and enjoyed gardening.

Survivors include his wife of 55 years, the former Mary Ruth LaDuca; a son, Francis Paul; a daughter, Laura Marie Strano; and three grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Thursday in St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Prince of Peace Catholic Church, 1055 N. Military Road.

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