By Michael Bushnell
Henry Fortunato, the man who made walking in the metro famous, has passed away after a cancer diagnosis in late fall of 2017. Fortunato was 62.
After coming to Kansas City for a communications job in 1997, he left to pursue a degree in American History from Kansas University. Fortunato was also the genius behind the public relations and marketing department at the Kansas City Public Library. As part of that outreach he hired Northeast News publisher Michael Bushnell in 2013 to provide neighborhood history presentations to the six key areas of Kansas City through the use of antique postcards published around the turn of the 20th century.
“Henry was an avid historian and a regular at events held at the Kansas City Museum,” said Bushnell. “We were going to collaborate on some interpretive trail signage along Cliff Drive. I’m saddened to learn of his passing.”
Fortunato brought his KU students to the Kansas City Museum in May of 2016 as part of a Humanities boot camp. There, Fortunato moderated a discussion about the work that goes into building a successful urban core community. Representatives from the Museum, the Independence Avenue CID, Jewish Vocational Services, and Northeast Alliance Together participated.
“The reason why we went to Kansas City Museum is because I wanted them to see people in a community working together to bring about positive change,” Fortunato said at the time. “There were people there who wanted to intern with every one of those organizations. They came away thinking that what’s happening there was extraordinary and worth being a part of.”
A visitation is scheduled for Friday, February 9 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Interurban Art House at 8001 Newton in Overland Park, Kansas. A mass is slated for February 17th in Stirling, New Jersey.