Cover photo for Elliott David Fortune's Obituary
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1947 Elliott 2023

Elliott David Fortune

September 19, 1947 — November 30, 2023

Garner

 

In Loving Memory of Elliott David Fortune, Sr.

 

Once upon a time, in the vibrant tapestry of East Meadow, NY, Elliott David Fortune, Sr. graced the world on September 19, 1947. Born to Emanuel Victor Fortune Sr. and Nell Curtis Fortune, Elliott was nurtured in a loving family that radiated strength and unity.

 

From the onset, Elliott possessed a colossal personality, revered, and cherished by many. His kindness, boundless generosity, and knack for humor, even in the corniest of jokes, endeared him to all who crossed his path. He was a figure known by everyone, a beacon of warmth and charisma, though intolerant of any hint of nonsense.

 

Raised in Long Island, NY, Elliott flourished within the Nassau County school system, excelling athletically. His prowess in football and track at Lawrence High School was legendary, a phenomenon even noted by the famed Lyle Alzado who played with Elliott in high school and mentioned in his book how he has never met a better athlete than Elliott Fortune.

 

However, fate took a harsh turn as Elliott was drafted into the Vietnam War. For a young, gifted, and black man, forced to sacrifice for a nation that didn't fully acknowledge him due to his skin color, it was a devastating chapter. Yet, his bravery was undeniable as he was a recipient of the U.S. Army's Purple Heart award. In the line of duty, tragedy struck as a landmine shredded his abdomen and legs, leaving him riddled with shrapnel and near death. Miraculously, his resilience prevailed, defying the odds as he vehemently rejected the notion of amputation, enduring a "Frankenstein" procedure that pieced him back together.

 

Returning home, Elliott married his high school sweetheart, Lauren H. Cowell, in 1969. Their union blessed them with two children, Doreen, and Elliott. In the early years, their abode was in Inwood, NY, where Elliott's protective and devoted nature as a father shone brightly. He imparted his athletic prowess to his son, from coaching him in the Inwood Buccaneers football team to celebrating his son's NFL journey. As for Doreen, she held a special place in her daddy's heart, nurturing a confidence that led her to achieve her Ph.D. in biomedical sciences.

 

Elliott dedicated himself to his position at the Nassau County Department of Public Works, while concurrently serving as a Nassau County Committee Man, contributing his time and efforts to the community. Life, however, led him through trials (divorce, employment ended, and the aftermath of the war) that steered him into dark times. nevertheless, a chance encounter on a boardwalk sparked a transformative opportunity in security at a Yeshiva and MCS, a turning point that revitalized his spirit.

 

His grandchildren in NY, three lively boys, became the apple of his eye. Spoiling them and becoming their hero filled his heart with immeasurable joy. Due to the effects of Vietnam, he ended up battling prostate cancer, plus the enduring impact of Hurricane Sandy, Elliott found solace in relocating to Garner, NC, with Doreen. The climate in NC and the initial care provided by the Durham VA eased his burdens.

 

While in NC, his grandson Josiah became a focal point of pride, he never missed a karate lesson until Josiah achieved his black belt at the age of 7 and offered unwavering support in various other sports endeavors.

After several years in NC, the effects of Vietnam raised its ugly head again, in this instance as a diagnosis with primary myelofibrosis because of the radiation treatments from prostate cancer.  Elliott persisted, residing in NC until his unexpected passing on November 30th, 2022023,3 at 5:18 am. 

 

Elliott left behind a legacy cherished by his children, Doreen R. Fortune, and Elliott D. Fortune, and four beloved grandchildren: Elliott D. Fortune, III, Jaiden E. Fortune, Josiah Cunningham, and Omari Fortune. His memory lives on in the hearts of his sister JoAnn Fortune Spears, brother Everett Fortune, nieces Bridgette Francis, Pamela Emerson, Savannah Re and Tressa Spears, nephews Shawn Elliott Fortune, Richie Spears, Jr. and Everett Fortune Jr., long-time friend Gerald Ford, and a multitude of cherished family and friends.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Elliott David Fortune, please visit our flower store.

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