Michael Fortuna

July 27, 1946May 2, 2021

Michael Fortuna of Scituate, passed away peacefully on May 2nd at the age of 74, surrounded by his loving family.

He is survived by Kathleen Fortuna, his beloved wife of 42 years, his sons Christopher Fortuna, his wife Ashlyn, and their son Nico of Los Angeles, CA; Matthew Fortuna, his wife Paula and their children Natalia, Isabella and Alexander of Rowayton, CT; Peter Fortuna, his wife Allison and their son Arlo of Williston, VT; and his daughters Rose Fortuna, her husband Rick Waldron and their daughter Florence of Jamaica Plain, and Anna Fortuna of Quincy.

Michael was predeceased by his parents Peter Fortuna and Virginia Fortuna of Weymouth and brothers Peter Fortuna of Weymouth and John Fortuna of Hingham. He is survived by his sisters Marie Christmas, her husband Roy and their children of Weymouth, and Anne Iacobucci, her husband Paul, and their children of Carlsbad, CA. He is also survived by Kathleen’s three sisters and two brothers, and their families.

Michael was a graduate of BC High, and upon graduation from Stonehill College, his father enticed him to enter the insurance business. He learned quickly that he didn’t want a career in underwriting, but rather one in creative writing.

He applied for and secured a writing position at Rust Craft Greeting Cards in Cleveland, Ohio, where he introduced a fresh writing style that spoke to the joy of life’s celebrations as well as compassion for life’s tragedies. Feeling the draw of New England, he decided to visit advertising agencies on a trip home to explore possible work as a copywriter. His first interview was Cabot Advertising, one of Boston’s oldest and established agencies. He presented himself and his writing samples and was hired before leaving the building. At Cabot, he rose quickly from Junior Copywriter to Creative Director. His writing style was unique. He didn’t just sell…he found a way to place a client’s product or service meaningfully into the life of a consumer.

His growing reputation caught the eye of cross town rival Hill Holiday Connors Cosmopulos who recruited him as VP/Associate Creative Director. At HHCC, he contributed to the agency’s impressive growth and creative reputation. It was then he began entertaining thoughts of his own agency and in 1981, launched Emerson Lane Fortuna (ELF) with partners Dick Emerson and Keith Lane. In 10 years ELF became one of Boston’s fastest growing agencies with a reputation for great creative, great clients, and a great place to work.

In 1991, ELF was acquired by Arnold Advertising (now Arnold Worldwide). After several years at Arnold, Michael’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to start his own agency from his home office in Scituate, focusing on the financial service sector. The move allowed him more time to spend with family and more actively pursue his creative writing interests. He regularly wrote poetry, authored his first novel, Brimfield, and more recently, his book " defined", a book that honors the important work of all caregivers. In the last week of his life, he distributed copies of defined to those who cared for him at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. It was a generous last act that placed him meaningfully into the lives of his caregivers, as well forever in the hearts of his loving family and dear friends.

A “Celebration of Life” for family and friends is being planned for this summer.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in in the name of the Fortuna family to Road to Responsibility Inc. 1831 Ocean Street, Marshfield, MA 02050.

Family and friends are encouraged to offer their support by visiting to share a special memory or message.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Michael Fortuna

have a memory or condolence to add?

Roxey Greim

May 12, 2021

Dearest Kathy and Family
Our hearts go out to you. The memories of our neighborhood are flooding to me. They are such wonderful memories. Our deepest sympathy.
Love Rich and Roxey Greim

Gerri Hawn

May 12, 2021

It's been decades since we've been in touch but this news saddened me and brought back memories of our days together at Cabot and later with ELF. Michael was so creative, kind and fun. Kathleen, I've great memories of fun nights with you and Michael after work at the apartment in the North End. My deepest sympathy to you and all the family,
Gerri Hawn

FaithE maloney

May 11, 2021

I came to know and love the Fortuna family when I married George P. Maloney. Michael Fortuna,s mother was not only my husband's cousin -but also his GODMOTHER!!! Peter and Virginia Fortuna were some of the most compassionate people I have ever met----so I wasn't surprised to see these same examplary qualities in their son!! Michael had a direct, calm and sparkling personality! Shortly after my husband died .both Michael and his Mom wrote the most beautiful and uplifting notes' He asked me to read and review the proofs of his book on cregiving----and the meaning of life's true mission! I read it through outbreaks of tears and smiles. GOD love them both---reunitrd with Peter and John and so many others that welcome nd love him!!!xoxoxoxoFaithE.Bowker-Maloney, Scituate,MA.

Wendy Schwartz

May 10, 2021

I am so sorry to learn of Michael's passing. I worked for him at Emerson Lane Fortuna, producing radio and tv commercials. I was grateful to be working with Michael and the team he put together that produced such great creative. It was a pleasure to work with him. In addition to his wonderful creativity, he was a gentle and kind person. Sending deepest sympathy to his extended family.

Linda Hart

May 9, 2021

Jim and I were so sorry to hear of Michael's passing. We have many pleasant memories of Michael on Christmas Eve with all our friends at the Kazlousky's. Please convey our condolences to Kathleen and family

Al Kazlousky

May 8, 2021

A true friend. I will miss that laugh!!!

Christine Kazlousky

May 8, 2021

I feel very fortunate to have been the recipient of Michael’s quirky and selfless friendship.
He had a knack of knowing when you might need a little boost and would surprise you with a totally unexpected act of kindness.
Michael had a one of a kind personality and will be so missed by me.

Gordon Wright

May 6, 2021

I wish to express my deepest sympathies to all of Michael’s family. I worked with Michael for close to a decade until my retirement, after which we remained dear friends. At the time, I directed marketing for a Cape Cod bank, and it was Michael’s unique skill at developing communication strategies and his mastery of words that contributed greatly to the bank’s current leadership position on the Cape and Islands. Michael was extraordinary in his profession and as a person! I was fortunate to have Michael be a part of my life, and will forever cherish those memories.
Gordon Wright

Pattie Manning

May 4, 2021

Kathleen and family, I'm so very sorry for your loss. Michael was such a wonderful person and a huge part of my life. There are so many great memories of ELF and times at your home. He made everyone feel so special. My love and prayers are with you all.

Renee Santella

May 4, 2021

Dear Kathy, Rose, Peter and Anna,
I was deeply saddened to hear of the loss of Michael. We had the pleasure of visiting Kathy and Michael‘s home and enjoyed a wonderful afternoon where I spent time talking with Michael. He was such a warm inclusive and caring person. I enjoyed that day so very much it’s one of my treasured memories.
My very sincere condolences to all of Michael’s family.
Renee Santella Marblehead Massachusetts