Just three months shy of her 100th birthday, Elsie Mae Fortin has passed away at her home on North Dean Street in Bay City, Mich., surrounded by friends and family on Ash Wednesday.
Madonna has returned to Bay City several times to see her grandmother, flying anonymously into MBS International Airport during visits.
Madonna's mother died when she was young and she was partially raised by her grandmother. They remained very close as her career skyrocketed.
From her eight children, there were 36 grandchildren, 47 great-grandchildren and six great-great grandchildren.
Fortin was preceded in death by her husband, Willard, and four of their children: Dale, Madonna, Michael, and Gary.
Though she lived her entire life within 40 miles of Standish, her birthplace, and seldom traveled outside of Michigan, Fortin remained for decades the beloved matriarch of an extended family that has collectively encircled the globe.
The funeral liturgy will take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 12, at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church, 607 E. South Union St. The burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery.