Irma Lucrecia Acosta De Fortin
Irma Lucrecia Acosta De Fortin
  • March 21, 1928 - December 5, 2016
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

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March 21, 1928 - December 5, 2016

Irma Fortin, of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, passed away December 5, 2016 in Oklahoma City surrounded by her loving family. She was preceded in death by her husband of 57 years Donato Fortin. She is survived by daughters Irma and husband Brad Lund of Oklahoma City; Suyapa and husband Gene Ball of Blacksburg, Va.; and son Donato and wife Olid Fortin of Charlotte, N.C.; grandsons, Henry Litchfield of Oklahoma City; and Nicolas Ball of Blacksburg; and sister Marina Acosta of Tegucigalpa.

In 1950, Irma earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras; and in 1965, a Masters of Science in Physics from Catholic University of America (Washington D.C.); and received two Honorary Doctorates from Chatham University (Pittsburgh, Penn.), and Lake Erie College (Painesville, Ohio).

Irma had numerous milestones during her political, academic and social career in her beloved country of Honduras and throughout the world. In 2014, she received the Order of the Gold Cross from the National Congress of Honduras, the highest honor a citizen may receive from Congress. She was the first female engineer ever in Honduras. In 2012, Irma was honored at a ceremony in Cuba for her work in education and engineering, and presented the Golden Vector Award by the Pan American Union of Engineering Associations, an organization with two million members. She was the first Honduran woman to serve as President of the National Party, one of the first women to serve in the Honduran Congress, and was the first woman to run for Vice President of Honduras, twice in 1981 and 2005. In 1982, Irma performed a lead role in the drafting and signing of the current Honduran Constitution, and proudly kept a copy in her purse at all times.

Her long-standing commitment to educating the youth of Honduras was her top priority as she founded and operated both the Mayan School (K-12) and the University José Cecilio del Valle in Tegucigalpa. In 1999, Irma was recognized as one of the most significant leaders in Central America higher education and received the Exemplar Award from the Council of Independent Colleges. She was the Founder and Executive Secretary of the Association of Private Universities of Central America. Her proudest professional accomplishment was her successful campaign in 1980 to implement a new law enabling private higher education in Honduras, which makes it possible for private universities in Honduras to exist today

The family wishes to thank Irma's personal caretakers Elizabeth and Kim Taylor, the staff and families at The Heaven House, Dr. Alan Bock, OU Neurology Department, and Mercy Health's Neuroscience, Rehabilitation Hospital, and Palliative Care teams for their loving care.

Services are pending and will be held in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.