David Forte

David Forte (1924 – 2014)

The whole family was saddened to hear of the death of David (Donato) Forte on Sunday 13th December in Swanage.  He was the son of the late Alfonso Forte and Adelina Mezza, and brother to Giulio Forte and the late Amedeo, Gerry and Ettore Forte.  He was 90 years old and will be remembered fondly by everyone who knew him.

He was a great lover of the arts, recognised by many as hugely talented in so many areas having successfully turned his hand to theatre, ballet, choreography, set design and hat making over the years.  He was a fine artist and the family’s supreme raconteur of hilarious stories – always the life and soul of every party.

The world will be a duller place without him, but we will all remember him for bringing glamour, laughter and wonderful colour into all our lives.  His funeral was held yesterday in Swanage.  Our condolences go to Giulio and all the extended Swanage Fortes.


  1. Kieran Fagan says:

    I worked at Forte’s in Swanage in the summer of 1968 and have good reason to appreciate the decency of the Forte family, Guilio and Donato in particular. Donato was lively and funny and Guilio was patient and generous with a confused Irish hippy looking for a job as a kitchen porter. I recall Donato putting on a show in the Mowlem theatre, and encouraging me to throw rose petals up on stage at the finale. If Giulio is still alive I send him my best wishes and gratitude. I also remember the Forte family closing the restaurant early on Wednesdays (I think) and cooking wonderful pasta meals for the staff.
    Swanage has always been a special place for me. I’m still in touch with Mirse and Ed McLarnon who I met there in that magic sunny summer. Kieran Fagan, Dublin

    • Giulio Forte says:

      Hi Kieran, Thank you for your very kind comment on the Forte family site. I do remember a young Irish lad who after we closed in the evenings would sit at the top of the stairs overlooking the cafe playing, I think, a trumpet, was that you? My son Ricky still runs an Ice cream and coffee shop in Swanage making delicious flavours of gelato. When you are in Swanage please pop in and see us. Kindest regards. Giulio Forte.

      • Kieran Fagan says:

        I’ve done some odd things but not with a trumpet, Giulio. I’m delighted to know that there are still Fortes in Swanage and hope to get there again some day. Best wishes Kieran.

  2. Robin Hodge says:

    Such fine times!!! My brother Andy worked there before me. Me (Robin) and Vaughan McCracken worked there in the mid seventies. Great times.

    I really should say what a sad passing it is. Donato knew that I was at Art College and occasionally brought me some of his drawings or paintings to show me. Always full of fun and humour. A very sad passing.

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