Originally Published: January 14, 2015 6 a.m.
Louis John Fornara, 81, a longtime Prescott resident, passed away on Friday, Jan. 9, 2015, surrounded by family.
Louie was born in Cottonwood, Arizona, in 1933 to Battista and Florida Fornara, and in 1940, at the age of 7, moved to Prescott, Arizona, where he was raised at "the big house," as locals called it, not only because of its size, but because he was brought up with his Italian parents, his grandmother, Nonna Gilardi, brothers Charlie and George Fornara, aunts and uncles Connie and Nita Savoini and Elvezia Fornara, as well as cousins Joe, Jim and Art Savoini and Ann and Robert Fornara. As a young man, he delivered milk for his family's dairy business and also worked at the family-owned Hassayampa Market, which was one of the few grocery stores in Prescott.
Louie graduated from Prescott High School in 1950 and for two years attended ASU, where he played basketball. He enlisted in the Army during the Korean conflict and returned to Prescott in January of 1955. He then married his high school sweetheart, Ninta Richardson, and raised their three sons, Marc, Vince and Gino. He was a founder, partner and manager of the JCJ Ranch with family members Charlie Fornara, Joe Savoini and John Olsen. In addition to ranching, he developed property in and around Prescott, but he never lost his love for cattle and the ranch life. He was instrumental in developing his brother George's ranch in Kirkland and loved spending time there during round-ups, branding and cattle sales. He was a lifelong member of Sacred Heart Church and a member of Yavapai County Mounted Sheriff's Posse.
Louie's passion in life was the love for his family. His sense of humor could bring laughter to any situation. He especially enjoyed hunting and fishing with his boys.
Survivors include the love of his life of almost 60 years, Ninta, and sons Marc (Jeannie), Vince (Lisa) and Gino Fornara. He also leaves behind his seven grandchildren, Amber (Bill), Ryan (Ashley), Sarafina, Vinny, Jessi, Ramsey and Hunter; along with his great-grandchildren Marcus, Aurelia and Haylee. He is also survived by his brother George (Margaret) of Kirkland. He lost his brother Charlie only 26 days prior to his passing on Dec. 15, 2014. Louie was raised with his five cousins, Joe (deceased), Jim and Art Savoini, Ann Fornara Olsen (deceased), and Robert Fornara (deceased).
A funeral Mass will be 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 16, 2015, at Sacred Heart Church, 150 Fleury Ave., Prescott, Arizona, preceded by a rosary at 10 a.m. A luncheon will take place downstairs after the mass. An internment is scheduled at 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 19, 2015, at Prescott National Cemetery with full military honors.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Louie Fornara's name to the Yavapai County Mounted Sheriff's Posse Scholarship fund, YCMSP P.O. Box 95, Prescott, AZ 86302. Donations can also be made in Louie's name to Good Samaritan Marley House, 1065 Ruth St., Prescott, AZ 86301, or Sacred Heart School. A special thank-you to Dr. Missey, M.D., and Dr. Hojat Askari, M.D., who cared for Louie in his final hours. We will forever be grateful. "Ride hard - run fast - walk tall and fly with the angels, Papa."
You are invited to log onto www.ruffnerwakelin.com to sign Louie's guestbook and share a memory with the family. Arizona Ruffner Wakelin Funeral Home assisted the family with final arrangements.
Information provided by survivors.