NAUGATUCK — Stephen “Steve” Kortis, 90, beloved husband for 61 years of Matilda “Tillie” (Janczewski). Steve Kortis, father, Poppy, great-grandfather and friend, died suddenly Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015.
He was born in Ashley, Pa., son of Mary and Anthony Kortis and lived in Naugatuck since 1947. Despite his small stature, Stephen was an avid football player and succeeded in receiving his varsity letter at Ashley High School. In service to our country, Stephen was a Seaman 2nd class in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Stephen lovingly raised four children while working two jobs to provide for his family. He retired from Uniroyal after 30 plus years. He then worked at Risdon Corporation in Thomaston, and retired there after five years.
During the spring and summer, you would find him sitting on the deck enjoying the “hummers” coming to feed and sharing his prized tomatoes and cucumbers. An enthusiastic Giants and Red Sox fan, he never missed game day, and always shared his enjoyment of local sports with his family. His love of the card game Yaniv and consistent victory over his grandchildren in “Words with Friends” kept him sharp well into his later years.
Steve and Tillie traveled outside of the U.S., but their frequent trips to Maine they loved most of all. In addition to being the best dad and Poppy in the world, Steve was a friend like no other.
He is survived by his sisters, Mary Machulskis of Bordentown, N.J., Eleanor Stevens of Shickshinny, Pa., Betty Hughes of Wilkes Barre, Pa.; his four children, Stephen A. Kortis of W. Barnstable, Mass., Kathleen A. Kortis of Simsbury, Pamela J. Palmer of Naugatuck and Sheryl K. Desrochers of Simsbury. He is also survived by his sons-in-laws, Dennis Desrochers and Bernard Rynecki; daughter-in-law, Kathleen Q. Kortis; and several nieces and nephews. His 14 grandchildren, Rebecca, Aaron, Stephen Mathew, Megan, Ian, Amie, Zachary, Seth, Kara, Nicholas, Larissa, Spencer, Sean and Jayden; and his seven great-grandchildren were his pride and joy. He will be dearly missed by his many friends.
His funeral will be held on Monday, Oct. 5, 2015 at 10 a.m. from the Naugatuck Valley Memorial/Fitzgerald Zembruski Funeral Home, 240 North Main St., Naugatuck, to St. Francis of Assisi Church, 318 Church St., Naugatuck for a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. Burial, with military honors, will follow in St. James Cemetery. Calling hours will be held on Sunday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the funeral home, with members of the Naugatuck Veterans Council meeting at 6 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that donations be made to the Disabled American Veterans, P.O. Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45250-0301.
To send an online condolence, visit www.naugatuckvalleymemorial.com.