Dr. Ignatius Joseph “Nat” Tortorici
Aug. 23, 1932 – Jan. 17, 2017
Nat Tortorici, age 84, of Mountain Brook passed away on January 17.
He was a much-loved husband, father, grandfather, friend and dentist. he was preceded in death by his parents: Samuel Anthony and Mary Leo Tortorici, and by his wife of 52 years, Marion Karpeles Tortorici. He is survived by his children: Sam Tortorici (Kathryn), Natalie Tortorici Gillespie (Robert), and Leigh Leigh Tortorici; and by his grandchildren: Michael Tortorici, Daniel Tortorici, Gracie Tortorici and Rob Gillespie. He also leaves behind many beloved cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.
Nat was an accomplished musician and well-respected dentist. He graduated from Fairfield High School at the age of 17 and attended the University of Alabama before entering dental school. He enjoyed playing saxophone in bands with Stumpy Falls all over the state during his college days.
He served in the Air Force as an officer and spent two years in Frankfurt, Germany as a dentist on the base.
He set up his first practice in Wylam in 1958, and in 1967 expanded to a second office in Crestline. He eventually moved it to Homewood in 1988, where he worked with his wife by his side until he retired in 2000.
He was a former president of the Alabama District Dental Society, and member of the Academy of General Dentistry, Implant Congress, and Monday Morning Quarterback Club.
One of his greatest attributes was his commitment to excellence in everything he did, and he always brought out the best in others.
He could paint a beautiful landscape, play almost any instrument you hand him, and cook a gourmet meal from leftovers, never using a recipe in his life. He starred in musicals with his uncles who were close in age, sang barbershop, and played with Baker Knight & The Knightmares, as well as with Joe Giattina & The Bama Cardinals. He loved old movies, Crimson Tide football, and all of his dogs fiercely.
Nat was always bigger than life, a man everyone looked up to. He had a wicked sense of humor and enjoyed the occasional naughty joke, but he always stood out as a true example of integerity in every aspect of his life. He will truly be missed by all.
He was a member of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, where his visitation was held on Friday, January 20 at 12:00 and a funeral service at 1:00, followed by burial at Elmwood Cemetery.
Memorials are welcome at Jimmie Hale Mission, the Birmingham Humane Society, St. Francis Xavier, or the charity of your choice.