Raymond "Ray" Paul Fortman

August 28, 1950 ~ July 14, 2022 (age 71) 71 Years Old


Raymond “Ray” Paul Fortman, 71, of Clute, Tx, passed away unexpectedly from complications of Prostate cancer on July 14, 2022. A loving husband, stepfather, brother, uncle, great uncle, and friend to all his acquaintances. Ray will be remembered for his love of family, outdoor hiking adventures, ultra-marathon bicycling, work ethic, honesty and sharp wit. He was a kind and gentle soul who loved a good political debate and the banter between two prospective sides. Ray was a member of an elite group of hikers known as the Adirondack 46ers who complete hikes of all the highest peaks in the Adirondack Mountains. He was also an Ultra-Marathon bicyclist who competed in many events across the country. One of his favorite rides was an event that started in Boston, Massachusetts and went to Montreal, Canada and back to Boston. He road many events consisting of various distances from 100km to 750 km. Ray road in many 24 hour evens including one in Michigan. He hosted his own 24-hour event in Saratoga, NY called the Saratoga 24 whereas riders rode as many miles as they could on a closed course for a 24 hour period.

 After retirement Ray became interested in photography posting many beautiful photos on Facebook to share with friends. He also became an avid boating enthusiast owning two antique boats which he enjoyed at his summer home on Lake Ontario.

Raymond was born August 25, 1950, in Tonawanda, NY, to Phyllis and Theodore Fortman. As a young child he lived in Poughkeepsie, NY for several years returning to Tonawanda, NY, graduating from high school in 1968, from Tonawanda High School. After high school Ray attended SUNY Albany in Albany, NY, graduating in 1972, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science. Upon graduation Ray remained in the Albany area working in various retail establishments including Almart and Montgomery Wards. In 1984 ray joined Sysco Foods in Albany, NY where he first worked at their cash and carry store as a manager, eventually being promoted to an office position where he was in charge of inbound transportation. In 2005, Ray was again promoted to a corporate position with Sysco in Houston, Texas, where he was Director of Transportation Operations Support until he retired in June 2014. During his employment with Sysco Corporation he lived in Katy, Texas, with a vacation home in Surfside Beach, Texas. Upon his retirement Ray resided in Surfside beach and Clute, Texas until his passing.

Ray was predeceased in death by his parents, Phyllis Kumlander and Theodore Fortman.

He is survived by his wife of 21 years, Deborah (Helmerci) Fortman; a step-daughter, Corinne Donah and her partner Glacy Page, of Laporte, Tx;  a brother, Douglas Fortman and his wife, Katherine, of Pattersonville, NY, a sister, Kathy (Fortman) Murphy and her husband, Robert, of Beaver Creek, OH. He is also survived by four nieces and two nephews; plus three grandnieces and one grandnephew.

A memorial service will be held Friday, July 14th at 3pm at D.L. Calarco Funeral Home, Inc. with Reverend Leon Schilling officiating.

Contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society/ Prostate Cancer Research Foundation.

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Memorial Service
July 14, 2023

3:00 PM
D.L Calarco Funeral Home, Inc.
135 Keyes Avenue Watertown
Watertown, NY 13601


American Cancer Society
P.O. Box 22718, Oklahoma City OK 73123
Tel: 1-800-227-2345


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