Annunciata Nazarena “Nancy” Fortuna Raine, 94, traversed these earthly bounds to enter eternal life on October 9, 2013, at Frankfort Regional Medical Center.
The cherished mother of Ellen Raine and Jeffrey Raine, of Frankfort, and the widow of Bruce Arthur Raine, originally of Swanton, Vermont, she was born January 27, 1919, in St. Albans, Vermont, the fifth child of seven to Caterina LaBella and Luigi Fortuna, both recently emigrated from Calabria, Italy. Widowed two years later and unable to speak English, her mother was left to raise the family alone, which she did with an indomitable determination.
Always an enthusiastic learner, Nancy excelled in her studies, winning several scholastic prizes. Graduating with honors, but regretfully unable to afford college, she was employed by the Central Vermont Railroad, quickly rising to the rank of Executive Secretary.
Here she met her future husband and, upon starting a family, devoted herself wholeheartedly to homemaking. With her usual zeal and energy, she became a prodigious chef and baker, a creative seamstress and interior decorator, an avid gardener of both flowers and vegetables, and a comforting and yet conscientious mother.
Highly intelligent and naturally curious, a lifelong follower of national and international politics, she was unapologetically conservative and didn’t hesitate to enter into debate or defend her views. Nancy was a voracious reader of non-fiction who, upon becoming blind a decade ago, turned to Radio Eye and books on tape to keep up with current events. Despite this devastating loss, she remained as self-sufficient as possible, interested in life, with a cheerful disposition and sunny smile for all.
A devout Roman Catholic, she was a faithful member of Good Shepherd Catholic Church and an active participant in the Ladies Auxiliary and Senior Friends, devoting many hours to charity work. Upon her own volition, she undertook to remember and encourage the sick and homebound of her parish, so often forgotten, with frequent cards and notes of concern.
In her final years, through a long course of illness and disability, Nancy was lovingly cared for in her home by her devoted children, to whom it was a labor of love, an honor, and a privilege. Ever stubborn and evidencing a strong will to survive, she overcame several life-threatening health crises, becoming known to medical staff as “the comeback kid.”
In the end, however, death becomes our friend instead of our enemy, and so it was for Nancy who, when the time came, was reconciled and looking forward to rejoining her departed loved ones in a world where there will be no more parting nor pain. Funny and feisty, sweet and kind, she was greatly loved and admired and will be deeply missed until we meet again.
In addition to her parents and husband, Nancy was predeceased by siblings Anna Liberata “Ann” Fortuna DePaul, Vincenzo Luigi “Jim” Fortuna, Pietro Antonio “Pete” Fortuna, and a brother and sister who died in infancy, as well as two nephews and a niece. Left to mourn, in addition to her children, is a beloved sister, Francesca Aida “Fran” Fortuna Villemaire, of Burlington, Vermont. Also surviving are numerous other family members, all of whom she held in her heart.
A Catholic mass was offered in her name, and cremation was chosen; inurnment and a memorial service is planned for a later date in her native state of Vermont. The family wishes to thank Dr. Steven Crum and his assistant, Ashley; ICU nurse Melanie; special friends Angie, Lillian, and Jane; the staff of the LRC; the directors of Clark Legacy Center; and all who held us up in prayer and offered moral support throughout. Expressions of sympathy may be made in her honor to the Franklin County Humane Society or L.I.F.E. House for Animals.
Online condolences may be shared at www.clarklegacycenter.com.