Kayla Lynn Fortin (KK), age 28, of Gaylord, died at home with family, on Sunday, August 2, 2020.
Kayla was born in Petoskey, MI. on November 7, 1991. Her parents were Mark and Lori Ruszkowski. Kayla graduated from Gaylord High School and was baptized into the Roman Catholic faith by her great-uncle, Fr. Dennis Stillwell.
Kayla loved horses, Disney movies, and especially loved going to Grandpa Jack’s and Grandma Sally’s farm. Her personality was one of a kind. She would brighten everyone’s day and tell each one, “You’re beautiful. You are beautiful”. Then she would hold their hands and tell them, “I’m Kayla Lynn Fortin, and I have two sisters; Jessica and Theresa and two brothers; Jacob and Joey.”
Kayla is survived by her parents Mark and Lori Ruszkowski, biological father Norman Fortin Jr. of Massachusetts; Grandmother, Sally Lauber, of Custer, MI; Grandfather, Phil (Kim) Stillwell, of Houghton Lake; Grandmother, Mary Fortin, of Tennessee; and Betty Ruszkowski of Bay City; Siblings, Jessica (Mark) Pitre of Alberta, Canada; Jacob (Kristen) Dutton of Gaylord; Theresa Dutton of Gaylord; Joey (Molly) Fortin, of Harbor Springs, MI.; Uncles and Aunts, Tom and Cara Lauber, Cherie Jensen (Lauber), Bertha Lauber, Jeff Lauber, Ana and Don Schultz, Tim and Denise Ruszkowski, Reg and Aggie Ruszkowski, Ken and Jeanette Ruszkowski, Tom and Pam Ruszkowski; nieces and nephews; Jada, Gwen, Rihanna, Izzy, Emma, Mila, Lily, Maddy, Asah, Joey, Axel, Kyle; and several cousins.
Kayla was preceded in death by her grandfathers, Jack Lauber Jr., Norman Fortin Sr.; Great grandparents Martin and Bertha Tasreak, and Jack Sr., and Gladys Lauber.
Molly was Kayla’s close companion, so were her other dog’s Bailey and Chance. She was the most beautiful, loving, and compassionate daughter and granddaughter and special aunt to her family.
Kayla was a fighter, and she always fought for the people she loved. Every breath she took was a miracle. Kayla inspired everyone that she met with her courage and strength. Kayla would be having a painful moment, but she always made sure others felt better that she was getting through. She would ease her mother’s anxiety by saying, “It’s okay, Mommy, I’m okay.”
She would also tell everyone that all girls are princesses. She loved collecting ‘Beanie Babies,’ riding horses at the farm and watching her movies. But most of all, she loved being with family and friends. She had a beautiful voice and enjoyed singing with her mother, especially her Disney tunes.
Kayla, you were the best daughter that a Mom and Dad could ever hope for. You took care of us more then we took care of you. You taught us so much. You showed us your courage, strength, compassion, and the inspiration to ‘never give up.’ We are so proud of you. We will miss you and your smiling face. Rest in Peace, Our Daughter, until we see you again.
Funeral services will be Thursday, August 6, 2020, at 12:00 p.m., at Sonshine Barn Wedding and Event Center (Freeman Farms), Gaylord, MI. with visitation from 10:00 a.m. until time of service at 12:00 p.m.
A special ‘Thank You’ to Robin Nowak and Hospice of Michigan, Rachel Smith, and all of Kayla’s caregivers, also to the Make-A-Wish Foundation for sending Kayla to Disney World.
Donations may be made to Mark and Lori Ruszkowski through the Nelson Funeral Home, Inc. P.O. Box 1548, Gaylord, MI 49734.