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Joseph Leo Fortin, age 87, passed away peacefully on March 9, 2009. Founder of Fortin Ironworks in 1946. Joe was an innovator in his field for over 52 years. He served in World War II 1942-1945, US Army Railroad Battalion in the Persian Gulf. A founding member of St. Christopher Church and member of St. John the Baptist Italian Church. Joe was also a member of the Knights of Columbus, The American Legion and the National World War II Memorial. He is preceded in death by his parents Valentine and Josephine, brothers Ruggero, Louie, Jack and Dominic and sisters Mary, Lena, and Inez. Survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Josephine M. Fortin; brother, Louis; brother-in-law, Tony Penzone; children, Mary Jo, Fred (Mia), Tom (Rita), Dan (Bonnie), John (Judy), Bob (Jane) and Margaret (Terry) Van Gundy; 14 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. We love you Joe and may you be in God's grace and loving care for eternity.

Friends may call WEDNESDAY, March 11, 2009 at the JOHN QUINT TREBONI FUNERAL HOME, 1177 W. 5th Avenue, from 4-8 p.m. Graveside Service will be held 10:30 a.m. on THURSDAY, March 12, 2009 at St. Joseph Cemetery. Funeral procession will leave funeral home at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers, friends who wish may contribute in memory of Joseph to the Xenos Christian Fellowship, 1340 Community Park Drive, Columbus, Oh. 43229 or St. John The Baptist Italian Church, 720 Hamlet Street, Columbus, Oh. 43215. Condolences may be sent via

Columbus’ Fortin Ironworks is taking a day off Thursday to honor the memory of founder Joseph Fortin, who died Monday at the age of 87.

Fortin founded the ornamental and metal fabrication company in 1946 after serving in World War II from 1942 to 1945. According to the company’s Web site, Fortin’s business began as an iron repair shop in a building attached to the home Fortin shared with his wife, Josephine.

The company, now run by the Fortins’ children, operates out of a 56,000-square-foot facility with a more than 5,000-square-foot showroom on Fifth Avenue near Grandview Heights. To honor Fortin, the company has draped a flag across the front of its offices.

The family is receiving friends from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday at the John Quint Treboni Funeral Home near Fortin’s offices on Fifth Avenue. The company said on its Web site that it will close down Thursday, the day of Fortin’s burial.