SUTTONS BAY — Louis Franklin Forton, 80, of Suttons Bay, passed away at his home on Monday, March 24, 2014.
Lou was born Feb. 18, 1934, in Traverse City, the son of Louis and Adeline (Kolarik) Forton. On Aug. 24, 1957, at St. Mary’s Church of Lake Leelanau, he married his loving wife of 56 years, Merle Marie (Couturier) Forton, who survives.
Lou was a proud veteran of the United States Army and served his country honorably in the Korean War.
He was a member of the VFW post 7731 of Lake Leelanau and also St. Michael’s Parish of Suttons Bay.
Lou was a stone mason for over 40 years but “never worked a day in his life.”
Lou loved to fish, hunt and travel. He took hunting trips to Wyoming, Montana and Alaska, and also traveled to Brazil, Japan and Rome.
Lou was well known in the area as “Big Lou” not only because of his size but because of his enormous heart. He had an outgoing and friendly personality, always stopping to engage in a conversation with anyone he met. He visited and played Euchre with his many friends at Tendercare on a daily basis.
He carried on his family tradition by making hotdogs and sausage for most of the county. He was a craftsman and made numerous trains, rocking horses and doll beds for his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. His masonry came in handy with his art of making cement hearts and Blessed Virgin Mary statues that decorate many yards in the area.
Lou is survived by his wife, Merle; his children, Louis J. Forton, Dale (Kim) Forton, Denise (Ken) Derylo, Wade (Heatherbee) Forton, Tonya (Joseph) Dulzo, Todd (Sari) Forton and Jason (Julie) Forton; his siblings, Jane (Raymond) Cracchiolo, Robert (Pat) Forton, Cecelia (Thomas) Hamer and Thomas (Karen) Forton; a brother-in-law, Ronald Ervin; 16 grandchildren, Rose, Caleb, Erika, Jaimie, Hildi, Eliot, David, Avery, Christopher, Adelan, Elizabeth, Steven, James, Kate, Grace and Samuel; and three great-grandchildren, Ashley, Payton and Dylan.