Sam served in the U.S. Navy (officer training) in 1942 during World War II, and in the U.S. Army as a dentist during the Korean War. He played basketball for Alma High School, the University of Detroit and MSU and was the Spartans leading scorer from 1944-46. He was past president of the MSU Alumni Varsity Club, a member of the Michigan Dental Association and a 50-year member of the Country Club of Lansing. Sam worked as a dentist in the Lansing area for 37 years and was a member of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church.
Sam was preceded in death by his first wife, Olga “Penny” Fortino, in 1990, and is survived by their 4 children, Linda (Mark Greenstone) Fortino, Nancy (Eric) Bates, Robert (JoDee) Fortino and Susan (Jeffrey Brown) Fortino; 9 grandchildren, Lia, Andrew (Lyndsay), Alexis, Michael, Sara, Evan, Alexandra, and Olivia; brother, Dr. Silvio (Silena) Fortino; and many loving nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his second wife Eileen and her 4 children and grandchildren. Sam was also preceded in death by his brother Alfred Fortino and 2 sisters, Marion Aquino and Betty Metz.
The Funeral Mass will be celebrated by Fr. Mark J. Inglot at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, January 18, 2012, at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, 955 Alton, East Lansing, MI. The Rite of Committal will take place at Riverside Cemetery in Alma. The family will receive friends from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday with a Rosary to be prayed at 7:00 p.m. at the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel. Visitation will also take place 1 hour prior to the service on Wednesday at the church. Memorial contributions may be made to the Heartland Hospice or the YMCA.