Dylan Fortunato’s short life had a purpose.
The young boy who bravely fought a battle that no child should have to face will be buried Wednesday with representatives of the U.S. Army that he loved so much in attendance, his mother said Tuesday.
Friends may call today, from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Smith and Sefcik Funeral Home on North Broad Street in Milford.
“He’s my hero,’’ Grace Fortunato said of her 13 year-old son, who lost his seven year battle with cancer. He died last Wednesday at Boston Children’s Hospital.
“He went through all that (treatment) without ever a complaint; always with a smile,’’ the boy’s mom said. “And he touched so many people. It’s unbelievable how many people have been calling. I got a letter from a girl in his class (at Harborside Middle School) who said Dylan saved her life by stopping bullies who were bothering her.’’
Milford residents took the little boy to heart, helping the family pay for the expensive treatments and associated costs, including accommodations while Dylan was at hospitals in Boston.
“We definitely want to thank everyone for their support,’’ Grace Fortunato said Tuesday. The family includes five children. Dylan’s father, Anthony, has had medical issues of her own and was laid off from his job for a time.
The family named its web site and supporters “Dylan’s Army,’’ in recognition of the little boy’s love of the military. Grace said that she’s been told that there there will be a “presence’’ by U.S. Army or Connecticut National Guard troops at her son’s funeral, “but a lot of it will be a surprise.’’
Here is Dylan’s obit, on the Smith and Sefcik Funeral Home web site:
Dylan Anthony Fortunato, 13, the beloved son of Anthony J. Fortunato Jr and Grace DiMarte Fortunato, passed away after his seven year battle with cancer last Wednesday in Boston Children’s Hospital.
Dylan was a student at Harborside Middle School where he was greatly loved.
Dylan will be remembered for his infectious laugh, for baseball and the way he loved everyone.
Besides his parents, he is survived by his older brother Anthony J. Fortunato III, sister Alyssa Marie Fortunato of Norwalk CT, and younger brothers Jordan Michael Fortunato, and Ryan Joseph Fortunato of Milford CT. His Paternal grandparents Crescent M. DiCamillo of Norwalk CT, Anthony Joseph Fortunato, Sr and wife Benita Beisler of Ossining, NY. All of his loving aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
Dylan is predeceased by his maternal grandparents Umberto and Caterina DiMarte.
The family would like to express their gratitude to the Doctors and staff of Yale New Haven Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital and the Milford Community.
Calling hours are TODAY from 4 to 8 p.m. at St. Mary’s Church Hall, 70 Gulf St. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, at noon in St. Mary’s Church. Interment will follow is St. John’s Cemetery in Norwalk. Smith & Sefcik Funeral Home, 135 North. Broad St., is handling the arrangements.
In lieu of flowers please make donations to the Dylan Fortunato Medical Fund, checks can be mailed to 27 Golden Hill ST APT 1-11 Milford, CT 06460. The family will make donations in Dylan’s name to the foundations that were near and dear to his heart.
To leave condolences or for directions, please visit our website @www.georgejsmithandson.com.