Patricia Danielle Fortunato (Rimbach) began her next chapter on October 17, 2020, passing peacefully and gracefully from this world.
Patty was born on June 29, 1938, to Sarah Rimbach (Deckenback) and Andrew Rimbach in West Orange, NJ. She joined her sister Margaret (Sissy) and brother Andrew (Andy), who were all later joined by their sister Mary. Patty and her family lived on “The Hill” in West Orange, just off Pleasant Valley Way.
Patty graduated from West Orange High School in 1956, where she was a twirler and where she won a national Table Setting Contest. After high school she went straight to work for PSE&G, where she met her “True Companion,” Ernie. They married on May 28, 1959 and honeymooned in Miami, Florida. They returned to their apartment on 10th Street in Newark to begin their life together, and welcomed Ernie, Jr.(1960) and David (1961) to their new family. Patty’s growing family of 4 needed more space, so they moved into their first house on Maple Avenue in West Orange, where they soon welcomed Christopher (1963) and Mark (1964). Growing out of yet another house, Patty, Ernie and their 4 little boys (now 4, 3, 2 and 1 year(s) old), moved to 56 Addie Lane, Whippany, where they began the longest chapter of this story. And in 1969, Patty welcomed Amy (“IT’S A GIRL!”) to the family. For nearly 30 years, Patty and Ernie raised the Fortunato family at their home in Whippany.
Over those years Patty devoted herself to her family. Of course mainly as mother to her boys and girl, but also as CEO of this complex, 7-person operation. While Patty held jobs outside of the house, most notably at Nabisco Foods in East Hanover, she was, first and foremost, and above all, a mother and a wife. That’s what Patty took as her true calling in life. She dedicated and devoted all of her time and effort to her family. She taught her children to be honest, play fair, help others and to work hard. She developed deep and lasting friendships with her neighbors, whom together brought a true community to Addie Lane. She volunteered as a Cub Scout Den Mother and as a Brownie troop leader. She established and lead the Sojourner Youth Group at Our Lady of Mercy Church for many years, and also created countless beautiful banners for the church.
Patty marveled at the wonder and beauty of nature, and developed a reputation (among her family) for collecting stones. She loved engaging with everyone she met – especially children. One of her favorite things to do was get down on the floor and play with her grandchildren.
She was beautiful, poised and self-less, always putting others first. And she laughed and had an unforgettable smile.
Patty was predeceased by her beloved husband Ernie, and she leaves behind her children Ernie, David, Christopher, Mark and Amy, her daughters in law, Denise, Mona and Cindy, and her grandchildren Brad, Katherine and Andrew, Christopher, Kenneth and Nicole, Abigail, Aaron and Amelia, and Johnny and Kaylee.
She will be missed dearly by her family and friends, who feel the world is just a little less bright without her. Visiting hours will be held on Wednesday, October 21, 2020 from 10 am to 11:30 am, with Words of Remembrance starting at 11:30 at the Bradley Braviak Funeral Home, 49 Whippany Rd. Whippany, NJ. Interment Gate of Heaven Cemetery, East Hanover, NJ. We will be live streaming the Words of Remembrance. Please click on link above on Wednesday.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation at https://www.alzdiscovery.org/.